Hulk Hogan awarded £80 million in sex tape lawsuit against Gawker

Gawker website posted an explicit video of the WWE star in 2012

Wrestler and TV personality Hulk Hogan has been awarded $115 million (nearly £80m) by a Florida jury in his sex tape lawsuit against US website and news outlet Gawker.

In 2012, the site posted excerpts of a video allegedly showing the former WWE star having sex with the then-wife of his best friend, radio ‘shock jock’ host Bubba the Love Sponge. The video was subsequently viewed 2.5 million times on the Gawker site alone.

Hogan was awarded $115 million in total, $60 million for emotional distress and $55 million for economic damages.

The jury found that Gawker had violated Hogan’s privacy and that the star suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the online posting.

Hogan had said that the sex tape “turned my world upside down” and “completely humiliated” him, adding that he is “not the same person I was before all this craziness happened.”

“My problem is this whole videotape that you guys put out that lives forever,” Hogan continued. “It will be there forever on the Internet.”

In their defence, Gawker argued that posting of the tape was protected by the First Amendment. “I believe in total freedom and information transparency. I’m an extremist when it comes to that,” website founder Nick Denton said.

Denton said after the verdict that Gawker intend on appealing.

Last year saw the WWE axe Hulk Hogan’s contract in wake of racial slur allegations.

Hulk Hogan’s reality TV show Hogan Knows Best ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2007.