Baywatch star David Hasselhoff has announced that he is not the one who brought down the Berlin Wall, and he has never claimed to be the one to thank for it.
The U.S. actor expressed frustration that rumors are still circulating he took credit for the iconic event at the end of the Cold War in 1989. Hasselhoff’s name has been intrinsically linked with the reunification of the German capital, as his music career experienced a resurgence in Germany at the time. His song “Looking for Freedom” topped charts there for eight months in the summer the wall came down. His subsequent New Year’s Eve performance of the song on the remnants of the wall sealed the memory of his link to German pop culture at that landmark moment.
Hasselhoff has since described the hit as an anthem that has become a “song of hope" for those who remember his performance, fueling rumors that he sees himself as responsible for what Germans call Mauerfall, the fall of the wall. He now wants to make clear that he is not behind the myth—and claims the fact that he is doesn't sit well with him.
"It pisses me off," Hasselhoff told German news agency DPA in an interview published on Thursday. "I had nothing to do with bringing down the Berlin Wall."
David Hasselhoff during the show "Das Internationale Schlagerfest" at Westfalenhalle on October 21, 2017, in Dortmund, Germany.MOHSSEN ASSANIMOGHADDAM/GETTY IMAGES
"You guys have lived and written this ... lie for almost 30 years," the actor said. “I sang a song about freedom, and it just happened to be number one when the wall came down," Hasselhoff added. "Did I use that song? Yes. Did I go behind the Berlin Wall and help people? Yes. Why? Because I could and because I cared."
In recent interviews, Hasselhoff has repeatedly tried to debunk the fact that he considers himself a sort of prime mover in the story of the Berlin Wall’s fall.
“I had nothing, not one thing, to do with that wall coming down. I was singing that song about freedom," he underlined.
Hasselhoff will tour through Germany and Austria starting in April to mark almost three decades since the release of the Looking for Freedom album in the summer of 1989.