The self-proclaimed tomboy, April Jeanette Mendez, better known by her ring name, AJ Lee, is the wife of a fellow American professional wrestler, actor, sports commentator, and retired mixed martial artist, Phillip Jack Brooks, AKA CM Punk.
The couple has been together since June 13, 2014, and currently reside in Chicago, Illinois.
AJ was known for her unique style and outspoken personality during her time in WWE.
Lee’s passion for the sport was undeniable, and her determination to succeed was unwavering.
After honing her skills for a few years, she signed with WWE in 2009 and began training at their developmental branch, Florida Championship Wrestling.
Let’s learn more about the former WWE diva AJ Lee.
|April Jeannette Mendez
|AJ, AJ Lee, April Lee, Miss April, Geek Goddess, Crazy Chick
|March 19, 1987
|36 Years Old
|Union City, New Jersey, United States
|Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Robert Mendez (Older Brother), Erica Mendez (Older Sister)
|Memorial High School, Tisch School of the Arts
|Phillip Jack Brooks, AKA CM Punk
|5 ft 2 in/157 cm/1.57 m
|54 kg/119 pounds
|35-24-34 in/89-61-86 cm
|4 (US)/36 (EU)
|6.5 (US)/4 (UK)/37 (EU)
|WWE Diva, Retired Professional Wrestler, Author, Speaker, and Mental Health Advocate
|Bleacher Creature, SummerSlam 2013, WWE Shop
|Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Early Life & Education
April Mendez, an American retired professional wrestler and best-selling author, was born in Union City, New Jersey, on March 19, 1987.
Her father, Robert Mendez was an automotive engineer, and her mother, Janet Acevedo, was a homemaker. She is the youngest of her parent’s three children and is of Puerto Rican descent.
Lee has openly discussed her upbringing and has revealed that her family endured significant hardships, including poverty, mental illness, and drug addiction.
As a result of these difficulties, they frequently moved between apartments, and there were times when they had to live in motels or in their car when they couldn’t afford rent.
Despite these challenges, April persevered and went on to achieve great success in her career.
In 2005, April Jeanette Mendez graduated from Memorial High School in West New York, New Jersey.
She then attended New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, where she pursued a major in film and television production.
Nevertheless, six months into her studies, she had to drop out due to family and deteriorating finances.
Struggle With Mental Health Problems
Miss April was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 20, the same condition that her mother also suffered from.
She had been misdiagnosed with depression before this diagnosis, leading to adverse effects.
She even had a scary incident where she overdosed on antidepressants and painkillers, which she considers a suicide attempt.
However, this life-changing event led her to seek proper treatment and the right diagnosis, which ultimately allowed her to manage her condition and achieve her goals.
Despite the challenges of bipolar disorder, April has credited it for giving her the bravery and resilience to pursue her dreams.
She has been vocal about her struggles with mental health to raise awareness and to help others who may be going through similar experiences.
Her journey is a testament to the fact that mental health challenges do not define a person and that with the right support and resources, one can overcome them and achieve success.
How It All Started?
For those curious about how the two became a couple, their story began with their on-screen pairing in WWE in 2012. It was during this time that they started spending more time together and getting to know each other on a deeper level.
However, it was not with that much ease.
For those who were avid followers of WWE in 2012, they may remember the fascinating love triangle between AJ, Punk, and Daniel Bryan, who also happened to be CM Punk’s major rival, in 2012.
As fans watched the drama unfold, it was clear that there was something special between AJ and Punk.
Even though they were on-screen rivals, their natural chemistry and dynamic performances hinted at a deeper connection.
As it turned out, their on-screen relationship helped to pave the way for a genuine romance to blossom between the two. While it is unclear exactly when their real-life relationship began, it is evident that their love for each other grew over time.
First Public Appearance
CM Punk and AJ made their first public appearance as a couple at a Chicago Cubs game in 2013.
It was just one of many appearances they made at sporting events in their shared hometown, where they likely bonded over their mutual love of sports.
Despite Punk’s departure from WWE and Lee’s retirement from wrestling, the two remained in the public eye as a power couple and two of the most iconic wrestlers of their time.
Miss AJ and Punk walked down the aisle on June 13, 2014, in the presence of their loved ones in a small wedding ceremony.
At that time, Punk had already left WWE several months prior while AJ Lee continued her career with the company.
Her reign as Divas Champion, which would go down in history, ended before the wedding, and she took a break from her in-ring work during this period.
Before hitting it off with CM Punk, AJ had romantic relationships with several individuals in the professional wrestling industry.
Jamar Shipman, who is also a wrestler and was April’s trainer, dated her from 2007 to 2010.
Another wrestler she met at WWE, whose name has not been disclosed, dated her for a brief period from 2011 to 2012.
Additionally, she had an encounter with John Cena, a professional wrestler, actor, television presenter, and former rapper, in July 2012.
As of February 2024, AJ Lee’s net worth is over $4 million, which can be accredited to her successful wrestling and career as an author.
According to industry sources, Lee’s salary during her time with WWE from 2014 to 2015 was estimated to be approximately $104,000 per year.
It’s likely that this estimate is short of the actual amount since it overlooks any potential endorsements and other deals that bring AJ Lee income.
Her husband, CM Punk, on the other hand has a staggering $12 million net worth.
Miss April retired from professional wrestling in 2015 and then pursued a writing career.
She has written a memoir called Crazy Is My Superpower, which covers her upbringing and career in wrestling, and a comic book series called GLOW vs. The Babyface, based on the TV series GLOW.
Mendez has formed a writing partnership with actress Aimee Garcia, and together they created the production company Scrappy Heart Productions, which is dedicated to elevating diverse voices through storytelling.
They also wrote a Dungeons & Dragons limited series called At the Spine of the World and co-wrote the screenplay for the Netflix film Blade of the 47 Ronin.
Unknown Facts About AJ Lee
- Lee is the youngest General Manager in WWE history.
- It was due to her brother’s interest in WWE as a child April decided to go into this male-dominated game.
- She is the longest-reigning Diva champion in WWE history.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Why is AJ Lee not in WWE anymore?
Lee retired from professional wrestling in 2015 primarily due to neck injuries sustained.
What does AJ Lee do now?
AJ Lee is currently working as an executive producer for Women of Wrestling (WOW), a professional wrestling promotion.