WWE’s website has a new interview with Layla, who has announced her retirement. She commented on the decision:

“I feel like deciding to retire from the ring has been a hard decision to make because I’m passionate and I love performing. I’ve known everybody in that company now for nine years. They’re family. I spend more time with crew and Superstars and Divas on the roster than I did with anybody else. It becomes part of your life. And not only that, it’s hard walking away from the fans. Part of me feels a little bit guilty for walking away because [WWE fans] are 100 percent loyal and have supported me since 2006. I wouldn’t even have this job if the fans didn’t vote in the Diva Search. I was able to win that competition because of them and I was blessed. But sometimes you just need to step out and take a risk and move onto the next phase in life.”

She also commented on what’s next for her:

“What’s next for Layla? To be perfectly honest, the first two weeks, I’m doing absolutely nothing. [laughs] No, I have stuff that I would like to do. I would maybe like to do some TV stuff, whether it’s in the States or in the U.K. I’ve talked a little bit about maybe going back into my dance background. I’m going to start choreographing and might even go back to the Heat to start choreographing with them. And then, of course, I’m engaged now to my fiancé Richard. We’re going to get married and then later on, in a few years, I want to have some kids and start my family life.”

Layla also offered these last words:

“I’d like to tell WWE Universe “Thank you” for always being loyal to me. They’ve seen me through my good times and in my bad times. In one of the first interviews when I won the Diva Search, I said to the fans, “I won’t let you down,” and I truly feel like I can walk away saying I have attained anything that any Diva was able to attain.

I was in the first-ever Divas Tables Match [at WWE TLC 2010]. I was the first Diva Search winner to win both championships — the Women’s Title and the Divas Title. I was able to be in LayCool, which was the highlight of my career. I am just blessed in every way. I feel like I have done everything that I would possibly have done with WWE, so I’m walking away a very happy camper and I hope everyone else is happy with my decision, too.

Thanks to WWE for giving me this amazing opportunity that has been nine years of seeing amazing things and meeting amazing people. I feel very accomplished. I’m walking away with a very happy glow in my heart. This isn’t a sad thing. It’s a positive thing. I’m moving on to the next part of my life.

Special thank you to Michelle McCool because with her, I had the best two-and-a-half years of my career. We’re still really good friends and I was privileged to work with and learn from her.

Kelly Kelly and I worked together from the get-go. I’d love to say to her “Thank you so much!” We had so much fun and became true friends. Together, Kelly Kelly and I learned how to wrestle. We became very good friends and we had so much fun together.

I’d like to thank Fit Finlay because he gives the Divas 125 percent. He basically gave me my opportunity; he started training me and taught me. He became a father figure to me, which I never had in my life. He took me under his wing and I’m forever grateful for that.

I also want to thank WWE’s executive offices, WWE’s talent relations group, the travel department, WWE producers and writers, make-up artists and seamstresses, and every other Superstar and Diva.”