Home / Gossip / Hulk Hogan SEX TAPE gets a $115 million in a sex privacy case!

Hulk Hogan SEX TAPE gets a $115 million in a sex privacy case!

For most of his adult life, the camera has been Hulk Hogan’s best friend, capturing him body slamming opponents to the mat in the wrestling ring, spinning, glaring and taunting all who might try to take him on.

But the image of the wrestling star was far less flattering when a grainy sex tape of Hogan in bed with a friend’s wife surfaced on Gawker, the popular online media web site.

hulk hogan sex video

When attorneys for Hogan and Gawker clashed over publication of the video, it was perhaps inevitable that it would all be dragged into a courtroom and explode into a nearly over-the-top mash-up of celebrity, sex and constitutionality.

A Florida jury on Friday deliberated just six hours before it awarded Hogan $115 million in damages in a case that claimed he was hurt and humiliated when Gawker showed the tawdry video to the world.

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“What’s disturbing about Gawker isn’t what they do in a vacuum,” Turkel said at the close of the two-week civil trial. “It’s how proud they are of it.”

Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, claimed it was an invasion of privacy and sought $100 million in damages to help right those alleged wrongs.

The jury ended up giving him even more, awarding $60 million in damages for emotional distress and $55 million in punitive damages.

The named defendants included Albert J. Daulerio, editor in chief of Gawker.com at the time the sex video was published, and Nick Denton, Gawker Media’s founder and chief executive.

Gawker’s response might best be summed up this way – give us a break.

Attorneys for the web site challenged jurors to watch the 1 minute, 41 second video, saying it barely qualified as a sex tape, and pointed out that gossip web sites TMZ and TheDirty.Com published stills from the video months before Gawker finally posted the footage.

Despite his claims that he suffered greatly from the publication of the video, Hogan openly discussed the tape in radio interviews, including a lengthy segment on the Howard Stern Show, Gawker’s attorneys said. The attorneys also wondered why Hogan had called into TMZ after the video went live.

“Who among us thinks it’s a good idea to send a serious message through TMZ?” said Michael Sullivan, an attorney for Gawker. “TMZ is the place a celebrity goes to get even more attention for a sex tape.”

Sullivan said while the video received 2.5 million views, there was little financial benefit for Gawker.

“There was no sustained Hulk effect on the site’s traffic,” Sullivan said.

After the verdict, Gawker signaled it plans to appeal the case.

“I want to thank our lawyers for their outstanding work and am confident that we would have prevailed at trial if we had been allowed to present the full case to the jury,” Denton said in a statement after the verdict.

“That’s why we feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately.”

Given key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case,” Gawker founder Nick Denton said in a statement.

During the trial, Hogan testified that the video was secretly recorded in 2007, at a time he was “depressed” and had agreed at a friend’s urging to have sex with that man’s wife.

The friend, Tampa Bay shock job Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem, coaxed Hogan into sleeping with his wife, the wrestler’s attorneys said.

Clem was never called to the witness stand, likely because he’d indicated he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right not to talk.

Hogan sued Clem after the tape was released and the case was settled out of court for an estimated $5,000.

Why the video was shot and how it was leaked to the media remained unanswered questions, along with a cache of documents that remained sealed during the trial, only heightening speculation about what salacious details they might hold. When they were unsealed Friday, there were no bombshells.

The central theme of the wrestler’s case was the separation he saw between the attention-seeking Hulk Hogan character and Terry Bollea, the regular guy who coveted his private time. When the sex tape was shot, he was in full Terry Bollea mode.

“This case defines reckless disregard and Gawker embodies it here in this case,” Hogan’s attorney, Kenneth Turkel, told jurors.

At one point, Daulerio was questioned about a previous video deposition in which he sarcastically said sex tapes featuring children under the age of 4 were about the only thing off limits to post on Gawker.com, when trying to explain the context of material that was newsworthy.

“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” Hogan attorney Douglas E. Mirell asked.

“If they were a child,” Daulerio replied.

“Under what age?” the lawyer pressed.

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