Hulk Hogan Wins $25.1 Million MORE In Punitive Damages For Leaked Sex Tape
Hulk Hogan was awarded awarded another $25.1 million as punitive damages by a St. Petersburg, Florida jury on Monday to go along with the $115 million he won on Friday in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker. The jury, in its latest decision, held Gawker liable for $15 million, its publisher Nick Denton liable for $10 million, and the site’s former editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio, who published the tape and wrote the accompanying post, liable for $100,000. As opposed to the earlier awarding of $115 million for compensatory damages, the punitive damages are intended to punish Gawker for its invasion of Hogan’s privacy.
Earlier on Monday, Hogan’s lawyer had asked jurors to award punitive damages above the $115 million judgement, while Gawker’s lawyer pleaded that the existing verdict was already “debilitating” for the company, “punishment enough,” and “already far beyond their means.” Hogan’s attorney urged the six juror to send a “message” to Gawker, and “make a statement” when awarding punitive damages. The wrestler’s lawyer added that Gawker acted “with a complete and reckless disregard and intent to harm” Hogan.
As Gossip Cop previously reported, the jury on Friday agreed that Gawker violated Hogan’s right to privacy when it published a secretly recorded video of him having sex with Heather Clem, the then-wife of his friend Bubba The Love Sponge. Initially, Hogan filed his suit in 2013, and sought $100 million for the private footage that featured just 9 seconds of actual sex. But after hearing Hogan’s testimony about how he was left “humiliated” and “shaking” when he found out the sex tape had been leaked without his consent, the jury decided his privacy was violated and awarded the one-time wrestler $15 million more than he had sought, resulting in a total of $115 million in compensatory damages.
That decision, plus Monday’s punitive damages award of another $25.1 million, brings the total to $140.1 million in combined damages. Gawker has already announced that it will appeal the jury’s decisions.