Hulk Hogan ‘Exceptionally Happy’ With $115 Million Award in Gawker Lawsuit

Hulk Hogan, Terry Bollea
Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, takes a moment as attorneys talk to the judge in court on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Fl. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker for $100 million, saying that his privacy was violated, and he suffered emotional distress after Gawker posted one minute and forty one seconds of a sex tape filmed of Hogan and his then-best friend’s wife. (John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
John Pendygraft — AP

Hulk Hogan has been awarded $115m by a Florida jury over Gawker’s 2012 posting of his sex tape, PEOPLE can confirm.

“We’re exceptionally happy with the verdict. We think it represents a statement as to the public’s disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism. The verdict says no more,” the Bollea team said in a statement to PEOPLE.

Variety reports that the jury found that Hogan – real name Terry Gene Bollea – had suffered “severe emotional distress” in the last three years since the sex tape surfaced. Hogan claimed that the tape, showing Hogan having sex with his best friend’s then-wife, was secretly recorded.

Gawker’s lawyers argued the tape was newsworthy as Hogan, 62, openly discussed his sex life during various media interviews.

In a statement issued Friday, Gawker Media indicated it is already contemplating an appeal.

“We’re disappointed the jury was unable to see key evidence and hear testimony from the most important witness,” says Gawker’s statement. “So it may be necessary for the appeals court to resolve this case. Hulk Hogan’s best friend Bubba the Love Sponge – who made the tape and offered up his wife in the first place – originally told his radio listeners that Hulk Hogan knew he was being taped. The jury was only able to hear a questionable version of events. Bubba should have been required to appear in court and explain what really happened.”

The statement from Gawker adds: “There is still more to the story. We expect the upcoming release of improperly sealed documents, important evidence that the jury should have been able to see, will begin revealing the true facts that the jury deserved to know about during deliberations.”

In his own statement, David Houston, another of Hogan’s lawyers, said Bubba Clem had previously testified under oath that Hogan “had no knowledge of being filmed” and had nothing to do with the tape’s production.

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