(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — Gawker lost its bid Wednesday to get a new trial in its legal battle with former wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Hogan had sued for invasion of privacy and won $140 million in damages from the case back in March.
During the trial, Gawker’s legal team claimed publishing the Hogan video, which featured him having sex with Heather Clem, the former wife of Hogan’s estranged best friend Todd Clem, was protected by the First Amendment, especially with Hogan being a celebrity. Furthermore, Gawker’s lawyer, Michael Berry, claimed Hogan filed his lawsuit just to get “lots and lots of money.”
But Hogan’s legal team noted Wednesday that the court has sided with Hogan yet again in a St. Petersburg, Florida, courtroom.
“The court today denied Gawker’s request for a new trial and to reduce damages. Plaintiff Bollea believes rightfully so,” Hogan’s legal team said in a statement after the request was denied, referring to Hogan’s birth name, Terry Gene Bollea.
“Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism. Their refusal to accept responsibility for their conduct and denial of the obvious continues to drive their litigation strategy,” Hogan’s legal team added.
Hogan received the $140 million verdict earlier this year, when a jury in Florida awarded $55 million in economic damages and $60 million for emotional distress. An extra $25 million was added on for punitive damages.
During the trial, Hogan said he had no knowledge that his encounter with Clem was being filmed, and thus was a protected private moment. When the tape was released and published on Gawker, Hogan told the court, “My whole world went upside down.”
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