Hulk Hogan 'humiliated' as sex tape went online
WRESTLER Hulk Hogan has told a Florida jury he was "completely humiliated" by a secretly recorded sex tape published online, as he seeks $100m in damages from the Gawker website.
Hogan (62) said the publication of a one-minute, 41-second excerpt of a video of him having consensual sex with the wife of his then-best friend - radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge - left his personal and professional life in turmoil.
"I was completely humiliated," he said, noting the embarrassment was personal and professional.
Going in court by his legal name, Terry Bollea, the wrestler wore a signature bandanna with a black suit and a cross necklace. He called the Hogan character "completely opposite" to his true personality, which he described as soft-spoken and non-argumentative.
Lawyers for the longtime champion of World Wrestling Entertainment and reality TV star say he had a right to expect privacy in a private bedroom and the video was filmed without his knowledge.
Gawker's post was motivated by power and brand promotion, an attorney for the wrestler told jurors during opening statements. Gawker attorneys, however, questioned what the wrestler knew about cameras in his friend's house.
Gawker sees its 2012 post as protected speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and contends it was reporting on a celebrity who publicly discussed his sex life. Gawker's founder, Nick Denton, sat in the front row on the first day of a civil trial in St Petersburg, located in the county where Hogan lives.