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Brooke Hogan Said That Hulk Hogan’s Gawker Lawsuit “Humanized” Him
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Summary: In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hulk Hogan’s daughter said that his Gawker trial “humanized” him.

If you’ve ever wondered how Hulk Hogan felt about his Gawker lawsuit, his daughter Brooke is here to tell you. In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she shared he “persevered” after his multimillion case against the gossip website and its founder Nick Denton. She also said that the experience “humanized” him.

  
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“I said, ‘Dad, no matter how crazy the press is, the public and your fans, they’re not stupid. They know your heart and who you are,'” Brooke said.

The Gawker lawsuit stemmed from a sex tape that was filmed in 2006. It starred Hulk Hogan and his friend’s wife, Heather Clem. Hogan said that his friend, radio DJ Bubba the Love Sponge, and Heather had an open relationship and that she frequently hit on him. Hulk Hogan said that he was in a vulnerable place because of his divorce so he had sex with Heather, and during their tryst, Bubba allegedly filmed the pair secretly and kept the DVD in his desk drawer.

Somehow the 30 minute DVD made its way years later to Gawker editor AJ Daulerio, who extracted two minutes and published them online in 2012. The video was a massive hit for the website, and even though Hulk Hogan asked to have it taken down, Gawker refused.

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Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) eventually sued Gawker for $100 million, and after a contentious legal battle, he was awarded $115 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit bankrupted the gossip website, and the company was sold to Univision Communications, who announced that Gawker would shutter.

In November 2016, Gawker and Hulk Hogan settled the case for $33 million.



Brooke Hogan said that her father felt embarrassed by what Gawker had done, but that she admired the fact that he stood up to them.

“My dad persevered,” Brooke Hogan said about the case. “And he always took the high road and was accountable, and I respect and honor him for that.”

Bollea v. Gawker was a landmark lawsuit because it dealt with two key issues–the right to privacy versus freedom of the press. Hulk Hogan said that at the moment when the video was filmed he was in his private life–he was Terry Bollea, not Hulk the professional wrestler–and that Gawker had no right to broadcast his private moment. Gawker countered that they had freedom of the press. They argued that because Hulk Hogan was a celebrity who joked about his sex life that they had the right to share the sex tape with their readers.

The jury ultimately sided with Hulk Hogan’s right to privacy, and the result was not only a win for Hulk Hogan but for his sponsor, Peter Thiel, who had also been humiliated by Gawker years before. Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire, had an ax to grind after Gawker outed him as gay in 2007, and in addition to paying for Hulk Hogan’s legal fees, he has sponsored other privacy and defamation lawsuits filed by individuals against media companies.

Photo courtesy of InTouch

What do you think about Bollea v. Gawker? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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