In a series of interviews, Hulk Hogan has admitted that Gawker Media founder Nick Denton terrified the former wrestling champion.
“Denton and I had a stare-down. He scared me staring at me, man. He just sat there staring. It was right after his cross-examination. He stood up and stared. It was like he was going to call me out at ‘Wrestlemania.’ Yikes!” said Hogan in an interview with New York Post.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is giving a round of interviews since he was awarded $140.1 million in damages in his lawsuit against Gawker over the publishing of a 90-second clip showing him having sex with his best friend’s wife.
On Tuesday, Denton fired back at Hogan in a piece on the website he founded, calling the two-week trial “a sham from the start.”
In return, Hogan called Denton a “puppetmaster,” and emphasized that the private lives of celebrities were not open season for media companies like Gawker. “They think that just because you have Facebook or Twitter, you crossed the line between normal person to celebrity status. So that means anyone who has anything to do with social media is fair game,” he told the Post.
He also told ABC the lengths he would go to take Gawker to task for their actions. “I told my wife, I said, ‘If I had to get my situation where I had to sell everything and borrow money and do whatever, I will not stop. They actually picked the wrong guy,’” Hogan told in the ABC interview.
In a separate interview with People, Hogan also questioned Gawker’s First Amendment rights on the basis of their standing as a website that engages in gossip. “I accomplished my mission and that was to let people know what Gawker is doing and that they’re not legitimate journalists and this is not trying to destroy the First Amendment – we’re trying to protect the First Amendment.”