STAMFORD, Conn. — World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. severed ties with Hulk Hogan amid a report that one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling history used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape.

The company deleted most references to Hogan on its website and issued a statement Friday saying it had terminated its contract with him.

WWE did not give a reason, but issued a statement saying it is “committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.”

On Friday, a joint report from RadarOnline.com and The National Enquirer said Hogan had used racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex video that is the subject of an invasion of privacy lawsuit.

In a statement, the 61-year-old Hogan apologized for using “offensive language” in a conversation eight years ago.

“It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” Hogan said, calling his departure from a WWE a resignation.

His attorneys did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press.

Hogan, perhaps the biggest star in WWE’s five-decade history, was the main draw for the first WrestleMania in 1985 and was a fixture for years in its signature event, facing everyone from Andre The Giant and Randy Savage to The Rock and even company chairman Vince McMahon.

– From news service reports