Hulk Hogan Wins Big In Sex Tape Case Against Gawker Media
Images source: Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times/Steve Nesius/AP (featured)
This week, a Florida jury granted both a massive $115 million (about £80 million) to Hulk Hogan over a sex tape that was released by Gawker Media back in 2012. In addition, Hogan was also awarded an addition $25 million (about £17 million) in punitive damages — out of that, Gawker owner Nick Denton was hit with $10 million (£6.9 million).
So, what exactly led to this point?
HULK HOGAN’S SEX TAPE…WITH HIS BEST FRIEND’S EX-WIFE
Back in 2006, Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem had sex. The twist? 1.) Heather Clem is the now-ex-wife of Hogan’s at-the-time best friend Bubba Clem, a well-known American radio presenter, and 2.) the sex happened with Bubba’s blessing (Hogan stated that his friend had an alternative lifestyle, and wife Heather kept tempting him, anyway). The problem was that, unbeknownst to Hogan, the sexual encounter was videotaped (Bubba later apologised for this). Somehow, that tape was eventually leaked and put in the hands of Gawker Media.
Following Gawker’s release of the video (or a snippet), Hogan frequently attempted to have the video taken down, and (even after a judge’s court order) Gawker refused, claiming First Amendment rights. Eventually, they did remove the video — only to link the viewer to another site still streaming it. Obviously, this was a huge negative.
SO, WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Naturally, Gawker Media have already vowed to appeal. This is probably best, given that — since the award is so high — it would most likely be reduced. Nonetheless, Gawker (and it’s many supporters) continue to stand by their decision to post the sex tape.
As far as Hogan, he made his feelings on the ruling pretty clear: