Nikki Bella

Says Flirting w/ Bartender

Prank Gone Wrong!!!

6/2/2018 12:30 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

Nikki Bella┬áplayed with fire when she tried messing with the paparazzi … and it burned her ass.

Nikki tells TMZ … a story floating around showing her “canoodling with a mystery man” on a Miami balcony does NOT mean she’s interested in him. She says it was supposed to be a joke to mess with paps since they had been following her and the rest of the “Total Divas” crew for days.

Nikki says the bartender is a 21-year-old model the show hired to serve them drinks at their penthouse … but by Thursday Nikki had had enough with the paps. With a little liquid courage, Nikki says she hatched a plan to bring the guy out on the balcony and do some faux flirting to screw with the photogs.

Paps snapped away and a story about her canoodling hit the web … something she had NOT intended to happen. Nikki wants to set the record straight — she is NOT dating anyone else right now. And as she told us already … she’s actively trying to work things out with John Cena.

No canoodling … and definitely no more messing with paps.