Hulk Hogan has been awarded $115 million in damages after a jury found that Gawker had violated his privacy by publishing a tape of him having sex.
The wrestling legend was seeking $100 million damages from the website after it posted a clip of him having sex with Heather Clem – the now ex-wife of his former friend Bubba ‘The Love Sponge’ Clem – online in October 2012.
Lawyers for the website argued that the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold, even if the jury found the action distasteful, while his lawyers argued the video was not newsworthy and violated his privacy.
The wrestler’s lawyers also said the website didn’t contact him or Clem before they published the story.
Hogan – real name Terry Bollea – had to take to the stand and give evidence at a court in St. Petersburg, Florida, this week, divulge private details about his sex life and the case has put strain on his relationship with his wife Jennifer McDaniel.
Last year, his contract with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) was terminated after a transcript from the tape recording – which was secretly made in 2007 when the wrestler was suffering from depression in the wake of his wife Linda Hogan filing for divorce – was leaked revealing him using the N-word during a conversation about his daughter Brooke Hogan’s then-boyfriend.
WWE, the company which he helped to turn into a global entertainment brand, cut all ties with him, even removing mentions of him from their official website.
Hogan previously said he hasn’t felt like himself since the tape was posted online.
He said: “I just haven’t felt like myself… this is still tearing me up. I haven’t been able to get back up to who I was before [the tape]… I’m not the same person I was since all this craziness happened.”
The 62-year-old also recently hit back at rumours he had leaked the tape himself, insisting he was offered money by Vivid Entertainment for the video but refused.