Before her sudden death at just 46, wrestling icon turned reality star Joanie "Chyna" Laurer struggled with drugs and other issues, a friend exclusively told Radar.
EXCLUSIVE : Joanie Laurer aka Chyna seen in New York
The Surreal Life star, who was found dead in her Redondo Beach, California, apartment last night, began her downward spiral when she left the wrestling world back in 2001. "She quickly lost everything," a friend revealed.
Joanie Laurer aka Chyna goes to Koi restaurant in Beverly Hills, CA
The "lost" Chyna began her porn career with a sex tape in 2004, featuring her then-boyfriend, wrestler Sean Waltman. She went on to star in adult films for nine years. "She was unable to make smart career decisions due to her issues," the source explained.
Joanie Laurer and Sean Waltman at Barfly Anniversary Party
She began drinking heavily and doing drugs, her pal added, eventually landing on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2007.
Superstar wrestler Chyna is dead at age 45 *FILE PHOTOS*
After starring on other reality shows including The Surreal Life, Chyna struggled to make it in Hollywood. "She desperately wanted to make a comeback, but doors were shut in her face," the source said.
Celebs Out On The Town in New York City
Chyna, the friend continued, struggled in her "horrible" relationships with men. In addition to Waltman, she dated radio host Jason Ellis and model Marcus Schenkenberg.
Exotic Erotic Ball Preview
Tragically, it's now too late for a comeback. A friend discovered her dead of a suspected drug overdose during a check-in visit on April 20, reports claimed, after disappearing for several days.