Hulk Hogan.

Hulk Hogan awarded astonishing $115m in Gawker sex-tape case

Published 5 Comments

Hulk Hogan has been awarded $115m in damages after American gossip news website Gawker published a sex tape of the former professional wrestling icon in 2012.

Hogan - real name Terry Bollea - has been under a cloud of scrutiny for the past few years, much of which stemmed from this leaked tape, before racial allegations also came to the fore.

Anna Phillips of the Tampa Bay Times has reported that Hogan was awarded $55m for economic injuries in relations to his image and ability to work, whilst another $60m for the subsequent emotional distress that was clearly visible as Hogan intermittently sobbed in the courtroom, according to Tom Kludt of CNN.

Article continues below

The monetary victory - which works out at around £79.5m - may well soothe Hogan's wallet, but his reputation has suffered almost irreparable damage in recent years.

WWE cut ties with their hallmark legend in July 2015 in light of his alleged racial slurs and Hogan has come to be viewed as a huge departure from the child-friendly babyface of the 1980's.

Article continues below

The former 12-time world champion between WWE and WCW has been in the public eye for most of his life, even beyond the ring. A reality show with his family entitled 'Hogan Knows Best' also kept the 62-year-old in the mainstream media.

Hogan's legal team argued the New York-based website violated his privacy and the video was not newsworthy.

Gawker, on the other hand, had hoped that Hogan's high-profile public presence would be enough to persuade the Florida jury that whilst the report may have been regarded as distasteful, the concept of freedom of the press was more significant.

Sylvester Stallone Inducts Hulk Hogan into WWE Hall of Fame

The two-time Royal Rumble winner also noted that he, nor the other party in the tape - said to have been a friend's wife - were contacted prior to the video's release.

The case essentially pitted the freedom of the press against a celebrity's right to privacy and it appears the privilege of a private life has come out on top in a major, lucrative way.

Hogan's lawyers were understandably delighted with the verdict and insisted this ruling may have an impact on future cases of its kind.

"This is not only his victory today, but also, anyone else who's been victimised by tabloid journalism," Hogan lawyer David Houston said outside the courtroom.

Gawker's founder Nick Denton and the reporting journalist AJ Daulerio were held liable in the lawsuit, but even before the incredible verdict was announced, it has been intimated that the paparazzi outlet would appeal any decision ruled against them.

Gawker's lawyer Michael Sullivan said during the trial. "He has consistently chosen to put his private life out there, for public consumption."

On that premise, they hope to establish that his public standing warranted the invasion. It's unlikely we've seen the last of this case.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Hulk Hogan
Triple H
Vince McMahon

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport - WWE Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again