Hulk Hogan Wins $31 Million Settlement Following Gawker Sex Tape Leak
Bosses at news website Gawker have agreed to pay Hulk Hogan $31 million after leaking a sex tape featuring the wrestler and TV star.
The 62-year-old walked away with a staggering $140 million in damages in March, after successfully suing Gawker Media bosses for publishing the tape without his permission in 2012.
The intimate footage featured Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, sleeping with a friend’s wife at their home in Florida back in 2007. He insisted he had no idea he was being recorded and sued Gawker, its founder Nick Denton and ex-editor A.J. Daulerio for $100 million.
Hogan was originally awarded $55 million for economic injuries and $60 million for emotional distress by jury members in a Tampa, Florida court. They subsequently bumped Hogan’s haul by another $25 million .
Hogan’s judgment forced Gawker into bankruptcy in June, and now the two parties have reached a deal over the star’s settlement.
The financial side of the case came as a shock to Hogan because he had no idea the invasion of privacy would amount to such a big haul: “I heard them say the number and I said, ‘What? What are the numbers?'” he said at the time of the ruling.
“It was just something I wanted people to know that this is not right. It was never about trying to destroy… it was about trying to make things the way they were supposed to be.”
“I was relieved that people actually finally believe me,” he told People. “So many people thought I was making a sex tape to sell as entertainment.”
While Gawker is no more, its sister websites were acquired by media company Univision Holdings Inc.