_Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake is adamant he never had a gay relationship with Hulk Hogan ... despite allegations made by Hulk's ex-wife ... and now Brutus tells TMZ he's prepared to SUE.
Mr. Beefcake -- real name Ed Lesie -- tells TMZ ... Linda Hogan was flat out lying when she went on the radio back in June and said the former WWE stars engaged in homoerotic behavior outside the wrestling ring.
Hulk has already filed a defamation lawsuit against Linda -- claiming she also made up allegations that he physically abused her during their marriage.
Beefcase tells us he plans to follow Hulk's lead ... and has already instructed his attorney to draft up the lawsuit, which he claims he will file in the very near future.
Brutus tells TMZ, "I've known [Linda] for almost 40 years ... but when she starts trying to ruin our careers, it just aint fair."
He adds, "Hulk is a tremendous person ... a great man who deserves to be happy."