Hulk Hogan Was Humiliated, Exposed When Website Posted Sex Tape, Lawyer Says
Hulk Hogan went to court Monday in his attempted throw-down of the Gawker gossip site for posting a video of him having sex with the wife of a friend.
The wrestling celebrity is asking for $100 million in damages over the nearly two-minute clip of him having consensual relations with the wife of his then-best friend, radio jockey Bubba the Love Sponge.
Hogan's lawyers claim posting the video was designed to humiliate their client and to boost viewership at his emotional expense.
"They have essentially replaced sticks and stones with clicks and phones," attorney Shane Vogt said in opening statements.
Hogan was the first witness called Monday.
Hogan testified his former friend kept saying his wife, Heather, wanted to have sex with him. He described the couple as having an open marriage.
Hogan said he later did have sex with the woman, and that his friend handed him a condom during the encounter.
"It was so weird and so crazy, my gut was telling me that this was off, this was wrong" Hogan testified. "From the feeling that I had, I said, 'Bubba you're not filming this are you?'...he lashed into me."
Hogan said he became aware that a video existed when TMZ called to say there were still images of the incident. He said he was "completely humiliated" by the video being published.
“I couldn’t quit shaking," he said.
Some 2.5 million people saw the sex tape during a six-month period, Hogan's attorney claimed.
Attorneys for the reality TV star and World Wrestling Entertainment celebrity say Hogan's right to privacy was violated by the video.
"Gawker believes this kind of reporting is important," Mike Berry said.
"It is important for writers to be able to address uncomfortable subjects - whether the subject is mental health, whether the subject is drugs, whether the subject is celebrity sex tapes," Berry told jurors.
Hogan entered court in a black suit, with a black bandana over his head.
He was identified in court by his legal name, Terry Bollea.