Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape Scandal

Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape Scandal

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Updated Jul 10, 2019 at 04:21PM EDT by Kevinvq2.

Added Mar 11, 2016 at 01:42PM EST by Don.

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Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape Scandal refers to a sexually explicit video in which former professional wrestler Terry Gene Bollea, better known by his stage name Hulk Hogan, is shown engaging in sexual intercourse with Heather Clem, the wife of radio personality Todd Clem. Clips of the video were widely circulated online throughout 2012, which lead Bollea to file lawsuits against both the Clems and Gawker Media for violating his privacy. Many have speculated the lawsuit against Gawker could potentially bankrupt the company, as well as set important legal precedents in regards to privacy rights and freedom of the press.


In April 2012, a 30-minute sexually explicit video in which Hogan and Clem engage in sexual intercourse began circulating online. In the video, radio host Todd Alan Clem (a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge) can be heard telling his wife Heather "If we ever need to retire, here is our ticket," prior to Bollea entering the room. On October 4th, Gawker[7] released a one-minute clip from the video titled "Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway."

GAWKER Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway 13598 3 AJ. Daulerio Filed to: NSFW 10/04/12 2:15pm Update: The video posted here has been removed pending litigation. See here for details. If you'd like to watch it elsewhere, you may do so here. A Judge Told Us to Take Down Our Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Post. We Won't. Yesterday the Hon. Pamela A.M. Campbell, a circuit court judge in Pinellas County, Fla., issued an... Read more

Notable Developments

Howard Stern Appearance

That month, Bollea was interviewed on the Howard Stern radio show about the tape, claiming he was covertly filmed without his consent (shown below).

Lawsuit Against the Clems

Also in October 2012, Bollea filed a lawsuit against the Clems for invading his privacy by filming him without his consent. On October 29th, a settlement was reached and Todd Clem issued a public apology to Bollea on his radio show.

"I am now convinced that Hulk Hogan was unaware of the presence of the recording device in my bedroom. I am convinced [Hulk Hogan] had no knowledge that he was being taped…It is my belief that Hulk is not involved, and has not ever been involved, in trying to release the video, or exploit it, or otherwise gain from the video's release in any way."

Lawsuit Against Gawker

On April 24th, 2013, Hogan sued Gawker for the post, and demanded they take the tape down. The site initially refused, citing their first amendment rights as journalists in the public interest, but a judge later required them to remove it.[8] On October 21st, 2014, Redditor Alexxm posted an image juxtaposing Gawker headlines about the Bollea sex tape with headlines criticizing "The Fappening" iCloud leaks, accusing the online tabloid of hypocrisy (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gained over 5,600 votes (94% upvoted) and 690 comments on the /r/TumblrInAction[1] subreddit.

Gawker Media on Men: Gawker Media on Women: JEZEBEL a Search a Search Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk HoganDid Someone Just Leak Nude Photos Of Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe ForJennifer Lawrence? [Updated] Work but Watch it Anyway Isha Aran 843,079 15 ★ Filed to: JENNIFER LAWRENCE Sunday 5:17pm A.J. Daulerio 4,950,662 3 ★ Filed to: NSFW 10/04/12 2:15pm EXPAND PART EXPAND RIGAMES Because the internet has made it easier for all of us to be shameless voyeurs and deviants, we love to watch famous people have sex. We watch this footage because it's something we're not supposed to see (sometimes) but we come away satisfied that when famous people have sex it's closer to the sex we as civilians have from time to time. Meaning: it's hardly ever sexy the way we expect it to be sexy, even when the participants are ostensibly more attractive than the majority of our sex partners will be. It looks as though a hacker has obtained nude photos of various female celebrities, posting them to (of all places) 4chan. You have got to be fucking kidding me Images of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Teresa Palmer, started popping up on 4chan /b, boards and have spread like wildfire on Imgur*. None of the celebrities have commented, and of course, there is no confirmation that the pictures are legit. But let's be real, they probably are. Because no one and nothing is safe, especially sensitive, private, nude photos of some of the most famous women on Earth. JEZEBEL Q Search a Search A Judge Told Us to Take Down Our Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Post. We Won't Porn Site Won't Take Down JLaw's Nudes Until She Proves She Owns Them John Coolk Fled to: HULK HOGAN 4/25/13 5:28pm Erin Gloria Ryan Fled to: NUDES Yesterday 3:15pm 242,124 8 68,319 31 ★ EXPAND EXPAND 54 Yesterday the Hon. Pamela A.M. Campbell, a circuit court judge in Pinellas County, Fla., issued an order compelling Gawker to remove from the internet a video of Hulk Hogan fucking his friend's ex-wife, as well as a 1,400-word narrative of the video written by former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio and 466 user-submitted comments. Here is why we are refusing to comply A porn site hosting stolen nude photos of celebrities has told Jennifer Lawrence's people that it will not remove the images from their servers until Jennifer Lawrence can prove that she owns the copyright. Of pictures of her own naked body. According to the New York Post, Lawrence's lawyers reached out to the porn site hosting the pictures, citing copyright infringement. But the site fired back that because some of the pictures weren't selfies, she didn't own copyright. Further, the site said it wouldn't comply with the request until whoever owned the copyright contacted them with proof they owned the copyright. Whoever selfied it delfied it, says the law. (Puts cell phone in blender, while smiling and maintaining eye contact. Turns blender on. Sticks hand in blender

On July 6th, 2015, a civil trial against Gawker Media convened in Florida, in which Bollea is seeking $100 million in damages for violating his privacy, personality rights and intentionally inflicting emotional distress for publishing the sex tape. On July 24th, 2015, the National Enquirer[3] and Radar Online[4] published transcripts of Bollea's statements heard in the background audio of the sex tape:

“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever."

"I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!"

On July 29th, Bollea filed a motion accusing Gawker of leaking the tape audio to compromise the lawsuit against them.[5] In October, a judge granted Bollea access to Gawker's computer system to allow a forensic expert to search for evidence that the company leaked a recording of Hogan to the National Enquirer. On March 5th, 2016, The New York Times[2] published an article about the lawsuit, noting that it may set important legal precedents in regards to privacy rights and freedom of the press. On March 7th, Bollea appeared on the stand at the trial, where he claimed he was "in character" when questioned about the Howard Stern appearance, and that he was "completely humiliated" by Gawker publishing the video

On March 9th, former Gawker editor Albert J. Daulerio was questioned as a defendant in the case. When asked if he could "image a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy," Daulerio responded "if they were a child" under the age of "four." That day, Gawker claimed Daulerio was being "flippant" in the statement.[6] On March 14th, YouTuber Court Chatter View uploaded footage of Daulerio being questioned about the remark (shown below). On the following day, Redditor The-Wing submitted the video to /r/videos. Within 24 hours, the video received upwards of 1.08 million views and the Reddit post gathered more than 8,500 votes (83% upvoted).


On March 18th, 2016, a verdict was delivered awarding Hogan $55 million in compensatory damages and $60 million for emotional distress. By the end of the month, the six-person jury will decide if additional punitive damages will be awarded. Following the delivery of the verdict, Gawker CEO Nick Denton announced plans to appeal the decision, claiming that "key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld" from the jury.[11] That day, the tech news site Ars Technica published an article titled "$115 Million Verdict in Hulk Hogan Sex-Tape Lawsuit Could Wipe Out Gawker." In the coming days, several posts about the verdict reached the frontpage of the various subreddits, including /r/news,[13][18] /r/technology,[14] /r/squaredcircle,[15] /r/KotakuInAction/,[16] /r/The_Donald/,[17] some of which celebrated Hogan's victory in the case (shown below).


Peter Thiel's Funding

On May 23rd, 2016, The New York Times[19] published an article titled "Gawker Founder Suspects a Common Financer Behind Lawsuits," reporting that Nick Denton suspected someone in Silicon Valley was financing various lawsuits against the media company, including Bollea's defamation lawsuit. The following day, Forbes[20] published an article titled "This Silicon Valley Billionaire Has Been Secretely Funding Hulk Hogan's Lawsuits Against Gawker," which named PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, whom Gawker outed as a homosexual in 2007, as the secret financier. On May 25th, The New York Times[21] published an interview with Thiel, in which he admitted to financing the lawsuit against Gawker. That day, several posts about the news reached the front page the /r/news,[22] /r/ProRevenge[23] and /r/KotakuInAction[24] subreddits. On Twitter, many claimed Thiel's funding of the trial was a threat to freedom of the press, while others mocked the arguments as sanctimonious.

Anil Dash @anildash Following I am always against outing people, of course. I am also against billionaires getting to secretly fund destruction of press outlets. RETWEETS LIKES 38 82 1:37 PM -25 May 2016 Milo Yiannopoulos X Following @Nero How many hating on Thiel would feel the same if you swapped Thiel for Soros and Gawker for Fox News? RETWEETS LIKES 71 0 10:27 AM -26 May 2016


On November 2nd, 2016, months after Gawker had closed due to bankruptcy as the result of the case, Hogan and Gawker reached a settlement in which Gawker would pay Hogan $31 million dollars after the judge awarded Hogan $140 million in damages after the case.[28] The stories about Hogan were also removed from the site.

Gawker's Sale Rumors

On May 26th, the New York Post reported that Nick Denton had "begun quietly soliciting bids for the sale of his company" in the wake of the verdict. That day, several other news sites reported on the story, including the Wall Street Journal,[25] CNBC[26] and Business Insider.[27]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Reddit – Reminder that Gawker posted Hulk Hogans sex tape

[2] The New York Times – Hulk Hogans Suit Over Sex Tape May Test Limits of Online Press Freedom

[3] National Enquirer – World Exclusive Hulk’s N-Word Racist Rants

[4] Radar Online – Hulk’s N Word Racist Rants Caught On Tape

[5] New York Post – Gawker behind leak of career-ending racist rant

[6] New York Times – Gawker Editors Testimony Stuns Courtroom in Hulk Hogan Trial

[7] Gawker – Even For a Minute Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work

[8] Gawker – Hulk v. Gawker

[9] BuzzFeed – The Greatest Hits of the Hulk Hogan Sex Tape

[10] Reuters – Gawker editor admits limit to news value at Hulk Hogan sex-tape trial

[11] Capital New York – Jury awards Hulk Hogan $115 million as Gawker looks to appeal

$115 million verdict in Hulk Hogan sex-tape

[13] Reddit – $115 million verdict in Hulk Hogan sex-tape lawsuit could wipe out Gawker

[14] Reddit – $115 million verdict in Hulk Hogan sex-tape lawsuit could wipe out Gawker

[15] Reddit – Jury awards Hulk Hogan $115 million in damages in Gawker case.

[16] Reddit – This is the usual double standard that Gawker Media does.

[17] Reddit – Thank you High Energy HULK HOGAN for very possibly shutting down Gawker

[18] Reddit – Hulk Hogan wins Gawker sex tape case

[19] The New York Times – Gawker Founder Suspects a Common Financer Behind Lawsuits

[20] Forbes – This Silicon Valley Billionaire Has Been Secretely Funding Hulk Hogans Lawsuits Against Gawker

[21] The New York Times – Peter Thiel Tech Billionaire Reveals Secret War With Gawker

[22] Reddit – Billionaire investor Peter Thiel who was outed as gay by Gawker in 2007 has been secretly funding Hulk Hogans lawsuit against Gawker

[23] Reddit – Billionaire investor Peter Thiel

[24] Reddit – Billionaire investor Peter Thiel

[25] Wall Street Journal – Gawker Media Looking at Possible Sale

[26] CNBC – Gawker Media exploring options

[27] Business Insider – Gawker is considering selling itself after its $140 million loss to Hulk Hogan

[28] New York Times – Gawker and Hulk Hogan Reach $31 Million Settlement

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