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.
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.