Gawker Media, Hogan Finally Settle Sex Tape Saga

This past Wednesday, one of the most notorious journalism lawsuits finally came to an end. Former Gawker CEO Nick Denton agreed to pay $31 million—in addition to a portion of the company’s bankruptcy sale—to former wrestler Hulk Hogan. The agreement brings a final end to the legal drama beginning with Gawker’s publishing a secret sex tape featuring Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea. This past March, a Florida Court found Gawker liable for libel to the tune of $115 million. The broader storyline…
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Hogan Pulls Gawker CEO into the Ring, Alleges Undisclosed Loan Amidst Bankruptcy

On Tuesday, July 5, 2016, lawyers representing Hulk Hogan alleged that Gawker Media LLC secretly loaned Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder and CEO, $200,000 to pay for personal bankruptcy counsel. Gawker and Denton are jointly liable for the $140 million judgment in the Hogan case, with Denton personally liable for an additional $10 million in punitive damages. The accusations come as Gawker navigates through Chapter 11 proceedings and the anticipated sale of its assets. Lawyers for Hogan are seeking to defeat an attempt to convert a…
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Hogan’s $140 Million Award Forces Gawker into Bankruptcy

The bad year continues to get worse for digital news company, Gawker Media. On June 10, 2016, Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This occurred following a decision to uphold the $140 million award to Hulk Hogan for invasion of privacy. By filing for Chapter 11, the company postpones paying creditors, including awarded court judgments, until the sale of the company. It also gives the company time to reorganize and restructure. It is uncertain whether the founder and CEO of Gawker, Nick…
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Double Teamed: Judge Sides with Hogan, Blocks Gawker from Releasing Additional Footage

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell banned any further use or disclosure of the sex tape involved in Hulk Hogan’s privacy suit against Gawker Media LLC. The Florida judge’s ruling prohibits Gawker from posting, publishing, or broadcasting any portion of the 30-minute sex tape to protect the public interest and the wrestler’s privacy rights. In March, a Florida jury awarded Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, $140 million in damages for publishing a sex tape between the wrestling icon and his…
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On Heels of Unprecedented Win, Hogan Files New Sex Tape Suit

On Monday May 2, 2016, wrestling icon and reality-television celebrity Hulk Hogan filed another civil suit in Florida state court over the alleged distribution of a sex tape featuring the wrestler. According to the complaint, Hogan accuses Gawker Media, LLC (the gossip website whom he had just secured a $140 million jury verdict against in March), and a slew of individual defendants of intentionally interfering with his career in the WWE by obtaining and releasing a sex tape recorded without his consent. The tape…
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Gawker Bodyslammed with Another $25M, Hogan Award Jumps to $140M Total

In what should come as no surprise to anyone following the case, jurors in the Hulk Hogan right to privacy civil suit against gossip-site Gawker, which was brought over release and publication of a 2006 sex tape involving the wrestling superstar, hit the media company with another $25 million judgment late Monday afternoon on March 21, 2016. The award was for punitive damages, an extra penalty that can be handed out in certain cases where it is found a person went above and beyond conscionable…
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Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Bout Against Gawker

On Friday, March 18, 2016, after only about six hours of deliberation, a jury of four women and two men hit gossip-site Gawker with a $115 million damages verdict against it in the  Hulk Hogan civil suit over right of privacy and publicity charges. The award, which was handed down on the same day that attorneys for both sides delivered their closing statements, included $55 million in economic damages and $60 million in noneconomic damages. Hogan had been seeking $100 million in total from the…
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Gawker Tries One Final Takedown of Hulk Hogan’s Persona as Trial Nears End

On Thursday, March 17, 2016, Gawker Media LLC, the defendant in a $100 million right of privacy trial brought by wrestling icon and American hero Hulk Hogan over the news site’s publication of a sex tape featuring the Hulkster, made one last stand to the jury on the ninth day of trial and on the eve of closing statements. In keeping consistent with the argument it’s made throughout the trial—that the celebrity and former WWE star Hogan repeatedly bragged about and discussed issues of his…
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Hulk Hogan Trial Update: Jury Hears Lover’s Testimony

Jurors in the $100 million invasion of privacy trial between wrestling superhero Hulk Hogan and gossip-site Gawker heard the previously recorded deposition of Heather Cole — formerly Heather Clem, ex-wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge — better known as the woman Hogan was caught having an affair with in a secretly videotaped intimate rendezvous dating back to 2006. She testified that her former husband told her to have sex with Hogan but never informed her that the encounter was going to be filmed.…
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Real or Fake? Attorneys in Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Trial Showing Litigation Can Be as Entertaining as Wrestling

The Hulk Hogan sex tape civil trial against gossip-site Gawker ended its sixth day of in-court proceedings Monday, March 14, 2016. The case itself is being heavily covered by the media, with defendant Gawker even livestreaming the trial on its website, and comes out of an incident in which the media company published an edited, unsolicited version of a sexual encounter between wrestling-icon Hogan and his former best friend’s wife, Heather Clem. According to Hogan, the affair happened in 2006, and although the rendezvous was…
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