John Cena has made a conscious decision to keep his personal life private

By Jodi Guglielmi
June 11, 2019 01:24 PM

John Cena knows the truth — and that’s all that matters.

After going through a public breakup with ex-fiancée Nikki Bella last year, the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader host says he’s learned not to let rumors about his personal life bother him.

“I know who I am, and I think that’s very important,” he says. “It’s fine for people to have questions, but it’s fine for me to give or protect certain information.”

Cena and Bella’s relationship came to an end last summer when they officially called off their engagement in July after a period of breakups and make-ups. Much of their relationship played out on the E! reality show Total Bellas.

Since the split, Cena says he’s taken time to asses his “values and beliefs” and made a conscious decision to keep his personal life out of the public eye.

“I think it’s imperative to try things,” he explains. “If you try it and you don’t like it, you don’t need to try it again. I don’t ever judge anybody or criticize anybody for what they share or what they don’t share because I’m not them.”

John Cena and Nikki Bella
Kevin Mazur/Fox/Getty

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The WWE star has since moved on with new flame Shay Shariatzadeh. The two were first spotted together in April, holding hands while out and about in Vancouver. Shariatzadeh is a project manager for Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions tech company, and has been employed at the Vancouver-based company since 2015.

Cena has yet to comment on his relationship status with Shariatzadeh. Instead, the actor says he chooses to take things “one day at a time” and keep his focus on his career.

“I’m focused on what I have going on now,” he says. “I try not to look into the crystal ball and predict what may happen.”

So what does he have going on now? Cena is hosting the rebooted game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, which asks adult contestants to puttheir knowledge to the test with questions taken directly from an elementary school curriculum.

“The show really showcases the kids,” he says. “It’s not just about their intelligence, but also their skills and personality. They are so confident in who they are and showing that off is an important aspect of the show.”

“This is such a fun show to be a part of,” he adds.

And even Cena admits there was a question of two on the show that even had him stumped.

“Let’s just be honest, I’m not smarter than a 5th grader!” he joked.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader airs Mondays at 7 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon.

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