Day 1 of Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Lawsuit Against Gawker Media: Hogan Was “Completely Humiliated”
On Monday, Hulk Hogan told a Florida jury that he was “completely humiliated” when a secretly recorded sex tape was published online.
The testimony came on day 1 of Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit against Gawker Media, who obtained the tape from an “anonymous” source and published a 100-second clip in 2012.
Hogan explained that he first heard about the tape when he got a call from TMZ.
“I was pretty rocked. I felt numb. My arms and hands started shaking violently,” the former professional wrestler explained. “I didn’t go into a spasm, but it was one of those things where I couldn’t stop shaking. The news just hit me. They told me that Bubba was on the other end of the tape, saying, ‘Heather, if we ever need to retire, this is our retirement.'”
That Bubba to whom Hogan refers is radio shock-jock Bubba the Love Sponge, real name Todd Clem. At the time he was Hogan’s best friend. He has admitted that he recorded the video of Hogan having intercourse with his then-wife, Heather Clem. He has also admitted that the sex was his and Heather’s idea at first.
As for the lawsuit, Hogan’s lawyers claim their client had a right to expect privacy in a private bedroom, that he did not consent to being recorded, that he did not know he was being recorded, and that Gawker had no right to publish the video.
Gawker’s lawyers claim the 2012 post is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. And while it may sound stupid to say “freedom of the press” gives Gawker the rights to publish a sex tape, they actually have a much stronger case than it might seem.
As detailed in an excellent Buzzfeed piece on the history and context of the Hogan sex tape, Hogan had a long history of talking about his sex life in very graphic detail. Thus, his sexual escapades and prowess were very much a part of his public persona, which is why Gawker decided the sex tape was fair game.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Gawker Media wasn’t being hypocritical…
And just because this lawsuit could have major implications for freedom of the privacy and freedom of the press, that doesn’t mean it isn’t surreal…
Buckle up, everybody. This is going to be weird and uncomfortable.
Hat Tip – [Reuters]