Hulk Hogan Awarded Landmark $140 Million In Damages – Gawker Comes Back For More
May 19, 2016
The highly publicized case of the Hulkster and a best friend’s ex-wife has finally come to a point of closure, but the mess of the Gawker v Bollea case is far from over. Despite the massive sum of $140 million being officially awarded to Terry Bollea by a St. Petersburg judge earlier in April, media company Gawker announced its intent to appeal the court’s ruling in light of ‘unheard evidence’.
That evidence, although not specifically outlined, hinted at a testimony the Florida court room never got the chance to hear.
At the risk of being charged with perjury, the man who has been named the camerman behind the Hogan sex tape chose to enact his Fifth Amendment right and not testify during the proceedings. Bubba Clem, otherwise known as Bubba The Love Sponge, was a longtime friend of Hogan who, in light of his open relationship with wife Heather Clem, insisted she and Hogan sleep together.
As Hogan himself explained in a separate interview, the Clems were adamant about the tryst to the point of incessancy. During a particularly dark moment in Terry’s life, the entertainer gave in to his friends’ demands, but unknown to both Mrs. Clem and Hogan was the fact of a camera recording their every move. The half-hour long movie traded hands in the southern Florida entertainment community before ending up in the office of former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio, who worked with fellow Gawker employees to craft an impressive post dissecting the Hogan sex tape; complete with embedded links to other celebrity sex tapes.
The posting was argued to be a gross violation of privacy for Bollea, which Gawker countered to be no invasion of privacy at all. The gossip site presented to the court a case of public interest, citing the numerous times Bollea had spoken of his sex life on a public platform to support the claim that no area of a celebrity’s life is off limits if that area is already accessible to the general public.
Former editor A.J. Daulerio then shocked the court room with an admission that sex tapes of any nature are valid for press, although he would “draw the line at four [years old].” Daulerio later clarified his words as ‘flippant’, but the consistent degrading of the Gawker name was already in full swing.
The media company, who has shifted its content to focus on more politics – less celebrity sex tapes – will now make attempts to appeal the court’s decision. However, unless Bubba The Love Sponge is indicted, the “yet unheard testimony” will likely remain unheard, and Gawker will be left with the same defense they just lost with.