Gawker, publisher slapped with punitive damages over Hulk Hogan sex tape

Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:53pm EDT
 
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By Letitia Stein

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida jury awarded punitive damages totaling $25 million on Monday in a second blow to Gawker, coming on top of the $115 million the online news outlet must pay for posting a sex tape of the former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

The six-person jury assessed Gawker $15 million in punitive damages. The media company's publisher and CEO, Nick Denton, was slapped with an additional $10 million.

"I think we made history today, because I think we protected a lot of people today who may be going through what I went through," Hogan told reporters Monday.

Juror Salina Stevens, 35, said watching the video strengthened her resolve to find in favor of protecting Hogan's privacy.

Stevens said she believes in First Amendment rights, but "we also have privacy laws, and I hope those will be taken into more consideration."

Hogan sued the website for posting a video clip in 2012 featuring him having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, the radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Hogan, 62, testified that he did not know that their consensual tryst was being recorded when it occurred nearly a decade ago inside Clem's home.

The editor responsible for the post, A.J. Daulerio, was assessed $100,000 in punitive damages.   Continued...

 
Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sits in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Pool via Reuters