Feds Prep Hogan|Sex Videos for Release

     (CN) – Hulk Hogan’s sex tape consists of “three different videos,” one of which includes an as-yet unidentified third party, the FBI has revealed.
     The case originates with Gawker’s publication back in October 2012 of snippets from a sex tape featuring Hogan and Heather Clem, the former wife of Florida DJ Bubba the Love Sponge.
     When Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, hit the media gossip website with a $100 million lawsuit, Gawker in turn sued the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act case.
     Gawker says the FBI conducted a short-lived investigation into the source and distribution of the Hogan sex tape, but has refused to surrender any responsive documents by claiming that their release would interfere with the investigation.
     After U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew ripped through the feds’ attempted reliance on the law-enforcement exemption to avoid releasing its records, she ordered the government to produce all nonexempt material last week.
     The FBI quickly moved for reconsideration or an extension, noting that the waivers Hogan and Clem signed is unlikely to cover a third party who also appears on the tapes.
     “The people on these videos have privacy interests not only in the video footage, but also in their recorded voices because someone in possession of those recordings could potentially identify them based on their voices,” the motion states.
     An exhibit that the FBI attached to its motion says that the third party speaks to Hogan and Clem in the first video, speaks partly in the second video and “appears throughout” the third video.
     While the FBI says it has identified 1,168 pages of records that are potentially responsive to Gawker’s request, it claims to have learned on or before Feb. 4, 2015, “that another law enforcement agency had commenced an investigation related to Mr. Hogan and that the investigation was ongoing.”
     It was the other agency that asked the FBI to withhold its records under Exemption 7(A) “because disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with their investigation,” the motion states.
     The FBI maintains that Gawker has not identified any public interest in the videos.
     “Instead, plaintiffs have expressly stated that the videos are of purely private interest because it may use them to defend themselves in a wholly unrelated state court action filed by Mr. Hogan because Gawker released the video and wrote stories about Mr. Hogan’s involvement with Ms. Clem,” the FBI said.
     The FBI told the court that it would turn over the videos with the third party redacted by June 29.
     Also, the FBI and EOUSA asked for more time to process 1,306 pages of documents, stating that they also contain “personal privacy information” and other material that should be exempted.
     The FBI said that it would have 11 employees work over the weekend to have the redacted documents available to the judge by July 1.
     The government also asked for more time to process two audio CDs. One contains a third party speaking about the Bollea case. The other includes an FBI agent and third parties.
     U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew granted the time extensions, ordering the FBI to turn over the redacted CDs by 5 p.m. on June 29, and the redacted documents and audio CDs by July 1. A July 2 hearing is scheduled for the case in Tampa at 9 a.m.

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