Hulk Hogan Seeks $100m Damages After Magazine Publishes His S3x Romp With His Best Friend’s Wife

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Hulk Hogan was “completely humiliated” after a
secretly-recorded s3x tape was published on a gossip website, a court heard on
Monday.
The wrestling star is seeking $100million (£70million) in
damages from Gawker, who leaked the footage of his romp with the wife of his
then-best friend, radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge.
The court case will test celebrity privacy rights and
freedom of the press in the digital age.
Hogan, 62, said the publication of the one-minute, 41-second
clip of his consensual s3x with Heather Clem deeply affected his personal and
professional life.

“I was completely humiliated,” he said. “It
was even embarrassing as my character. Hulk Hogan was embarrassed.”
Addressed in court by his legal name, Terry Bollea, the
wrestler wore a signature bandana with a black suit and a cross necklace.
He referred to his Hulk Hogan character as “completely
opposite” to his true personality, which he described as soft-spoken and
non-argumentative.
Lawyers for the longtime WWE champion and reality TV star
say he had a right to expect privacy in a private bedroom and the video was
filmed without his knowledge.
Gawker’s post was motivated by power and brand promotion, an
attorney for the wrestler told jurors during opening statements.
Gawker attorneys, however, questioned what the wrestler knew
about cameras in his friend’s house.
Gawker sees its 2012 post as protected speech under the
First Amendment of the US Constitution, and contends it was reporting on a
celebrity who publicly discussed his s3x life.
Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, sat in the front row on the
first day of a civil trial in St. Petersburg.
“Gawker believes this kind of reporting is
important,” an attorney for the company, Mike Berry told jurors,
explaining that celebrity s3x tapes are among the “uncomfortable”
topics important to the outlet, known for gossip and media reporting.
A loss could put Gawker out of business, though the website
will appeal an unfavorable verdict, another of its attorneys said.
The wrestler said the incident occurred at a low-point as
his marriage was ending, in a home where he had let down his guard.
Hogan is expected to continue to give evidence on Tuesday.

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