Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Gawker Sex Tape Case

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Gawker Sex Tape Case

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Gawker media, parent company of Kotaku, has been found guilty of violating Hogan's privacy by publishing a sex tape featuring the wrestler.

Legendary professional wrestler Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea has run into some rough times as of late [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/141749-Hulk-Hogan-Will-Not-Appear-in-WWE-2K16], but has just caught a lucky break to the tune of $115 million. A Florida jury has ordered media conglomerate Gawker to pay Bollea the sum as a consequence for hurting his reputation by publishing a sex tape featuring the wrestler in 2012. Gawker Media is the parent company of Kotaku, Gizmodo, Lifehacker and more.

Bollea's legal team argued that Gawker violated his privacy by publishing the tape, and that it was not a "newsworthy" topic. They stated that Gawker did not contact Bollea, or the woman in the video, before publishing it on their website. "This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who's been victimised by tabloid journalism," Bollea's lawyer David Houston said outside the courtroom.

Gawker's founder Nick Denton - and the journalist who published the article, AJ Daulerio - were held liable in the lawsuit. Their own legal team argued that while the journalist's actions were "distasteful," the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold.

"What's disturbing about Gawker isn't what they do in a vacuum," Bollea's lawyer Kenneth Turkel said during closing arguments. "It's how proud they are of it." Denton was "playing God over Bollea's right to privacy," he added.

Source: BBC [http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35849140]

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Klagermeister

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That's what happens when you not only refuse a judge's order, but publish an article practically saying "suck it, judge".
They got what was coming to them.
 

Urgh76

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I've already shitposted so much about this development that I'm at a complete loss as to what else I can add.

[img height=600 width =400]https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1797580_1001733686530768_571674097366003987_n.jpg?oh=e5298fb800af91e944d59a3ac2d4dfc5&oe=57884F23[/img]
 

DemomanHusband

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Y'know, I have to say I'm real happy for Hogan in this case. Gawker publishes his sex tape illegally, refuses to take it down, then basically ridicules him with it for years. Then some ages-past racist remarks are dredged up to ruin his image, and Hogan's life seems to be going the way of Brendan Fraser.

Now he's got a cool $115+ mil and most likely a few rounds to share with his legal team. Even if Hogan isn't the best guy out of the ring, he still didn't deserve being dragged through the mud by his dick, and I'm glad that clickbait media is paying reparations. Hopefully this will lead to some precedent in relation to blatant slander/mudslinging that has no place in journalism. Trying to ruin someone's life over the fact that they have sex probably shouldn't be protected by the first amendment, at least in a business environment.
 

The Material Sheep

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DemomanHusband said:
Y'know, I have to say I'm real happy for Hogan in this case. Gawker publishes his sex tape illegally, refuses to take it down, then basically ridicules him with it for years. Then some ages-past racist remarks are dredged up to ruin his image, and Hogan's life seems to be going the way of Brendan Fraser.

Now he's got a cool $115+ mil and most likely a few rounds to share with his legal team. Even if Hogan isn't the best guy out of the ring, he still didn't deserve being dragged through the mud by his dick, and I'm glad that clickbait media is paying reparations. Hopefully this will lead to some precedent in relation to blatant slander/mudslinging that has no place in journalism. Trying to ruin someone's life over the fact that they have sex probably shouldn't be protected by the first amendment, at least in a business environment.
Its a situation where freedom of speech and right to privacy run into eachother. Stuff like this really can't be argued to be in the public interest and it was taken without consent of the individuals involved, so most are going to air on the side of the right to privacy. When you're as blatant as Gawker was about the whole situation, and are more interested in profiting off of that blurry line than actually being decent human beings, most sane people are not going to argue in your favor when it comes to those blurry lines. People and businesses like Gawker more often than not can't be trusted to show discretion when faced with blurry ethical dilemmas and this is just another example of it.
 

The Rogue Wolf

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Maybe this will start to beat into the collective head of the "press" (and with Gawker, I use that term incredibly loosely) that not every aspect of a celebrity's life is fair game to be broadcast to all and sundry.
 

DemomanHusband

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The Material Sheep said:
DemomanHusband said:
Y'know, I have to say I'm real happy for Hogan in this case. Gawker publishes his sex tape illegally, refuses to take it down, then basically ridicules him with it for years. Then some ages-past racist remarks are dredged up to ruin his image, and Hogan's life seems to be going the way of Brendan Fraser.

Now he's got a cool $115+ mil and most likely a few rounds to share with his legal team. Even if Hogan isn't the best guy out of the ring, he still didn't deserve being dragged through the mud by his dick, and I'm glad that clickbait media is paying reparations. Hopefully this will lead to some precedent in relation to blatant slander/mudslinging that has no place in journalism. Trying to ruin someone's life over the fact that they have sex probably shouldn't be protected by the first amendment, at least in a business environment.
Its a situation where freedom of speech and right to privacy run into eachother. Stuff like this really can't be argued to be in the public interest and it was taken without consent of the individuals involved, so most are going to air on the side of the right to privacy. When you're as blatant as Gawker was about the whole situation, and are more interested in profiting off of that blurry line than actually being decent human beings, most sane people are not going to argue in your favor when it comes to those blurry lines. People and businesses like Gawker more often than not can't be trusted to show discretion when faced with blurry ethical dilemmas and this is just another example of it.
On the topic of journalists being blatant scum, the other thing that irks me is that from what I've seen about the case, Hogan didn't even have a say in being filmed, even though the encounter itself was agreed upon by all parties involved (the husband to the woman he had sex with apparently being the one who filmed it without indicating he would to the other two.)

So not only are these 'journalists' profiting off of someone else's privacy, but they're profiting off of a private moment that wasn't even intentionally recorded by its participants. Despite this, their lust for money and controversy drove them to not only publish this 'story', but to defend their 'right' to publish it all the way to court. Thankfully the jury was not made up of brain damaged baboons. I remember seeing a different user in another thread claim that it was a shame that Gawker would be hit so hard because it would affect 'good journalists' like Jason Schreier and Patrick Klepek. I almost choked on my water.
 

Dominic Crossman

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I thought this type of lawsuit doesn't work, but obviously I was wrong. Do other celebs keep it quiet or was Hogan's success an anomaly? (Tried googling it but I just get news of Hogan's victory)
 

Albino Boo

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Dominic Crossman said:
I thought this type of lawsuit doesn't work, but obviously I was wrong. Do other celebs keep it quiet or was Hogan's success an anomaly? (Tried googling it but I just get news of Hogan's victory)
Gwaker lost because when staff members were put on the stand and they came across like total jerks. Staff members were all we can do what we want and there's nothing you can do stop us so screw you. Angry idiots saying they have the right to post a sex tape involving a 5 year old child only annoys the vast majority of the population. In most of these cases the defendants are smarter and put on a more professional face.
 

RedDeadFred

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lacktheknack said:
WHAT IS THAT TERRIFYING SCREENSHOT
Right? Notice how the spectators in the front row have black voids for eyes. It contrasts very nicely with their ghostly complexions.
 

Revolutionary

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Good, Maybe now gawker will conduct themselves with a little integrity. Try saying that with a straight face.
 

Karadalis

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Several reason they got hit with the hammer of justice:

They published a part of the video, not simply reported about its existance

They mocked hogan repeatedly in articles they wrote, including insulting his endowment

They ignored a judges order to take down the video

They JOKED about publishing child porn (i think this one alone lost them the case)

They made fun about a woman who wanted a video wich depicts HER RAPE taken down in internal emails and told her to "not make a big deal out of it" refusing to take the video down. (yes.. gawker wich owns kotaku and jezebel, wich are all about mysoggyknees, pissed in a rape victims face that didnt want her rape shown to the entire world... social justice gooooooooooooo) Only after this scandal blew up in their face they removed the video but the damage to the girl in question was allready done

And im pretty sure force outing that guy from a rival company by supporting a blackmailing gay prostitute was somewhere in there too. Mind you the guy they outed had a family with children and was just like the raped girl NOT a public figure.

During the entire trial they behaved like complete entitled brats that thought they have the right to play with peoples lives without any consequences for themselves.

Their legal team must have gone up the walls in frustration on how unprofessional, arrogant and naive their clients behaved through the entire thing.

See this whole trial was NEVER about their right to report about the video, it was about them destroying lives and playing god only to then hide behind "freedom of speech" and "freedom of press". But gawker arent journalists, they are clickbait fabricators that dont care about the journalistic ethos, they only cared about clicks.
 

Naldan

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For years now it is widely known that Gawker is shit. That 80% Gawker does is gross and absolutely unnecessary. I think everyone there who published anything under the Gawker brand, including Kotaku, should have known this.

So if this really goes through and all of Gawker's sub brands get shattered, which hopefully they all will, I among many, many others will not shed a single tear about the people there losing a job. You, dear "journalists" of Gawker, contributed to this. A lot of people were very loud about how disgusting it is that you do. That Gawker is extraordinarily insulting its craft, "journalism".

And for me personally, a far leftist (from many people's PoV), I hope you all will shut the fuck up forever, never publish a word again and get paid for this. Get a job in carpentry or something.

With your political agenda, and especially the chauvinistic tone, self-righteousness and hypocrisy , you dragged the whole spectrum of this journalism-industry (amoung many, many other outlets!!!) so deep down into the mud, while at the same time propagating for a single strain of the leftist spectrum so vigorous and again chauvinistic and arrogant, that you tarnished everyone that is unwillingly associated with you.

You are one of around 4 components that produces far-right voters and thinkers. You made "lying-press" shouters right because the majority doesn't give a damn for semantics you in your arrogance bent to your liking.

Yes, you could interprete that as if Kotaku for example produced Trump-voters.

I hope Gawker burns sooner than later. Shit like this (you REALLY should read/listen to the court protocoll) is the reason why the despise for the (mainstream) press is at an all-time high.

Also, I hope that either the journos losing their jobs do a 180 in their writing or will never, ever get a job where they write their opinion.
 

Josh123914

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Nov 17, 2009
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So what does this entail for Gawker-owned sites like Kotaku?

Will they have to sell those assets off to pay off that 115 million (also holy shit guys, 115 million?), and if so, would we know of any prospective buyers?
 

RealRT

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Good. That sextape pretty much ruined Hogan's carreer and Gawker are a bunch of fucking twats.
 

LordLundar

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Josh123914 said:
So what does this entail for Gawker-owned sites like Kotaku?

Will they have to sell those assets off to pay off that 115 million (also holy shit guys, 115 million?), and if so, would we know of any prospective buyers?
Well Gawker is listed as only having roughly 5 million in annual income so they will definitely have to liquidate assets. Even with them going to appeal they have to post a bond first for $50 million (it's supposed to be for the entirety of the judgement but it's capped at the $50 million mark) before they can.

Now comes the fun part. An appeal is not a second chance to plead your case. It is an opportunity for the loser to point out mistakes in the case procedure that could possibly have changed the ruling. Now considering that "my idiot attorney let me actually talk" doesn't count the appeal is not likely to work. In that case additional penalties can be applied for wasting time and resources.

Oh, the $115 million? That's only compensation. The jury still wants punitive penalties as well so the number will go up.

So to summarize, yes, Gawker will have to liquidate assets. How much is up for debate but it will be a large chunk either way.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
RealRT said:
Good. That sextape pretty much ruined Hogan's carreer and Gawker are a bunch of fucking twats.
Did he still really have a career? I thought he kinda did that himself with his racist rants awhile back and his messy divorce.

Also, everyone needs to stop spazing out about the $115 million award, it will get reduced in appeals, it always does.