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Hulk Hogan Collects $31 Million in Gawker Case
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Hulk Hogan

Summary: Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan settled with Gawker for $31 million despite being awarded a $140 million judgment for leaking the sex tape.

A settlement has been reached between Gawker and Hulk Hogan for $31 million plus a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Gawker Media. The former professional wrestler was awarded a $140 million judgment against Gawker for leaking a sex tape of Hogan that he was unaware of. The settlement was revealed in bankruptcy court.

  
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The tabloid website was forced to file bankruptcy after the jury awarded Hogan the record breaking damage amount for invading the wrestler’s privacy. Former Gawker CEO Nick Denton alluded to in a blog post that he was “confident” an appeals court would have reduced the judgment but the site did not have the money to afford a legal battle against a billionaire celebrity.

Read Hulk Hogan, Journalist Sue Gawker Media.

Denton said in the post, “After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached. The saga is over.”

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Hogan sued Gawker, Denton and writer AJ Daulerio in 2012 for emotional distress after the website posted a nearly two minute long video of him having sex with Heather Cole in 2007. Cole was the wife of radio host Bubba The Love Sponge, Hogan’s best friend at the time.

See Billionaire Peter Thiel Reportedly Financed Hulk Hogan’s Gawker Lawsuit.



Gawker claimed they had the right to release the video because Hogan has openly discussed his sex life in the past on places such as Howard Stern’s radio show. They used the First Amendment as the basis of their argument. The jury did not agree with their claims and stated that privacy trumps another’s right to exploit. The jury awarded more than Hogan was seeking to make a statement to other media companies.

Denton was held personally responsible for $10 million so he filed bankruptcy in an effort to prevent his assets from being seized. Gawker Media was purchased by Univision for $135 million. The actual website Gawker was not able to be saved after gaining a bad reputation from the proceedings and was shut down in August.

It may seem surprising that Hogan would accept $31 million when he was awarded $140 million. However, it is unlikely that he would have seen the full payout because he would have to win the appeals case and then actually get the money after bankruptcy court. Even then, Hogan would be among a long list of creditors waiting to collect.

Do you think Hogan should have demanded more? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about other Gawker cases, read Quentin Tarantino has Filed Lawsuit against Gawker Media for Copyright Infringement.

Photo: flikr.com



 

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