Hulk Hogan Grilled About Sex-Filled TMZ, Howard Stern Interviews at Gawker Trial

Mar 8, 2016 - by Steve Gerweck

source: Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool, File

In his privacy lawsuit against Gawker, Hogan faces tough questions and attempts to explain he talks dirty in public as a “character.”

Hulk Hogan was back in a Florida court Tuesday, taking questions on the witness stand to support his privacy lawsuit against Gawker for posting an excerpt of a sex tape involving him and his best friend’s wife.

Contrary to Monday, when Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) was able to present his life story as well as his shame and embarrassment at having 7 million people watch the scandalous video, the plaintiff endured some leg drops, body slams and clothesline on cross-examination from Gawker’s attorney Michael Sullivan. Hogan had to admit that the sex tape was a big topic in the media, that he personally discussed it on a publicity tour and that he was fine with other reporters doing so as well.

Around the time that Gawker posted the sex tape in October 2012, Hogan went on a TMZ show and joked, “Thank God it wasn’t a guy.” Hogan was asked about this interview and the slightly naughty video that accompanied it. Was that an invasion of privacy? Hogan explained that what TMZ was trying to do was to provide character-driven entertainment, comparing it to when he used to get into the wrestling ring with Ric Flair. “That’s different than coming into a home and taking video,” he said. “Having Hulk Hogan’s rear end up there, I didn’t think that was an invasion of Terry Bollea’s privacy.”

Yes, since the trial started, Hogan/Bollea has addressed questions on his life as if he suffers from a personality disorder. His roles as an entertainer invite public attention, but it’s the plaintiff’s position that “Terry Bollea” is a private guy and there are some places like his home — or the bedroom of Bubba the Love Sponge, the radio shock jock whose wife he slept with — that are sacrosanct. Given the fact that this is the first celebrity sex tape case to ever make it to trial (defying observers who thought the First Amendment would preclude such a spectacle), and given that Hogan is lucky enough to have a friendly home-state judge instruct the jury to focus on whether there was a morbid and sensational prying into Hogan’s private life, the boundary between “newsworthy” and “indecency” provides the essential issue at this trial. What’s surprising is the extent to which Hogan’s two sides has become a factor.

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