by Ryan Clark – Mar 18, 2016
UPDATE: Hulk Hogan won more than he asked for in his lawsuit against Gawker Media over his leaked sex tape. Variety reports that the jury in the case awarded Hogan $115 million, more than the $100 million that he had been asking for, as they found the media outlet violated Hogan’s privacy by posting a portion of the sex tape online.
The two week trial included a six person jury, four women and two men deliberating for six hours.
“My problem is this whole videotape that you guys put out that lives forever,” Hogan said under cross-examination. “It will be there forever on the Internet.”
Gawker had argued that they were protected under the First Amendment and that Hogan’s celebrity status, including his public discussion of his sex life, made the tape newsworthy. Gawker indicated earlier today that they believe key evidence was kept out of the trial and indicated their intent to appeal.
ORIGINAL: Gawker sounds a bit less than confident of their chances in the $100 million lawsuit filed against them by Hulk Hogan. With closing arguments taking place today, the media outlet released a statement stating that they believe key evidence and testimony was kept out of the trial and that they will appeal if they lose.
Hogan sued Gawker over their posting of the sex tape filmed between him and Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem’s wife Heather, claiming a violation of his privacy. Gawker has argued that they’re protected by the First Amendment and that Hogan’s celebrity — including his regular discussion of his sex life in interviews — made it newsworthy. The case has been sent to the jury.
As you can see from the statement below, Gawker has noted that in the original statements given to the FBI during their investigation into an attempted extortion of Hogan over the tapes, Clem told the FBI that Hogan was aware he was being filmed. This information came out today after details from the case were unsealed by a media request. Clem said in a later deposition that Hogan was unaware of the tape.
As the trial concludes, we’re disappointed the jury was unable to see key evidence and hear testimony from the most important witness. So, it was may be necessary for the appeals court to resolve this case. Hulk Hogan’s best friend Bubba the Love Sponge — who made the tape and offered up his wife in the first place — originally told his radio listeners that Hulk Hogan knew he was being taped. The jury was only able to hear a questionable version of events. Bubba should have required to appear in court and explain what really happened.
There is more to this story. We expect the upcoming release of improperly sealed documents, important evidence that the jury should have been able to see, will begin revealing the true facts that the jury deserved to know about during deliberations.