Gawker media, parent company of Kotaku, has been found guilty of violating Hogan's privacy by publishing a sex tape featuring the wrestler.
Legendary professional wrestler Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea has run into some rough times as of late, but has just caught a lucky break to the tune of $115 million. A Florida jury has ordered media conglomerate Gawker to pay Bollea the sum as a consequence for hurting his reputation by publishing a sex tape featuring the wrestler in 2012. Gawker Media is the parent company of Kotaku, Gizmodo, Lifehacker and more.
Bollea's legal team argued that Gawker violated his privacy by publishing the tape, and that it was not a "newsworthy" topic. They stated that Gawker did not contact Bollea, or the woman in the video, before publishing it on their website. "This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who's been victimised by tabloid journalism," Bollea's lawyer David Houston said outside the courtroom.
Gawker's founder Nick Denton - and the journalist who published the article, AJ Daulerio - were held liable in the lawsuit. Their own legal team argued that while the journalist's actions were "distasteful," the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold.
"What's disturbing about Gawker isn't what they do in a vacuum," Bollea's lawyer Kenneth Turkel said during closing arguments. "It's how proud they are of it." Denton was "playing God over Bollea's right to privacy," he added.