Hulk Hogan Awarded Insane Amount Of Money In Sex Tape Case

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PA 25778544 Hulk Hogan Awarded Insane Amount Of Money In Sex Tape CasePA Images

Hulk Hogan has won a huge amount of money following his legal battle with the gossip site Gawker.

Hogan, 62, was awarded the colossal sum of $115m (£79m) by a Florida jury, after the gossip news website Gawker published a sex tape of the retired professional wrestler. Mr Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, claims that the leaked sex tape hurt his career, the BBC reports.

The video was posted in 2012 after Mr Hogan was secretly recorded having sex with Heather Clem, the estranged wife of radio host Bubba the Love Sponge.

PA 25846184 Hulk Hogan Awarded Insane Amount Of Money In Sex Tape CaseAP Photo/Steve Nesius

The wrestlers legal team argued that the video was not newsworthy and that the New York-based website had violated his privacy by publishing it.

Meanwhile Gawker’s lawyers argued that while the jury may find the website’s actions distasteful, the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold.

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Mr Hogan’s lawyers claim that journalists at Gawker didn’t contact him or Ms Clem before they posted the video online.

Outside the courtroom Hogan’s lawyer David Houston said: “This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who’s been victimised by tabloid journalism.”

Gawker, which is known for its for its aggressive coverage of celebrities and biting tone, maintained that Mr Hogan’s private life was newsworthy because he made it part of his public persona.

The website’s lawyer, Michael Sullivan, said: ‘He has consistently chosen to put his private life out there, for public consumption’. However, Hogan’s lawyer, Kenneth Turkel, argued that this attitude typified the often anything-goes world of internet publishing.

Gawker’s founder Nick Denton and journalist AJ Daulerio were held liable in the lawsuit. The verdict could potentially lead to more caution among Internet news websites, which are seen as having less editorial oversight than older media outlets.

Even before the jury’s verdict was announced, Gawker said in a statement that they would likely appeal the decision and that large jury awards are more often than not reduced during the appeals process.

Hogan was one of the most popular professional wrestlers of the 1980s and 1990s and even starred in his own reality television show with his family. However in recent years, Mr Hogan’s been something of a controversial figure and personal problems have conflicted with his one-time child-friendly persona.