TAMPA (CN) – Hulk Hogan sued Gawker and its founder for $100 million, claiming the “loathsome defendants” posted a secretly recorded video of him having sex on Gawker.com and refuse to remove it.
“Defendants’ posting of the video excerpts at the Gawker site constitutes a shameful and outrageous invasion of plaintiff’s right of privacy by a group of loathsome defendants who have no regard for human dignity and care only about maximizing their revenues and profits at the expense of others,” the wrestler turned TV personality claims in Federal Court.
Terry Gene Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, says Gawker published a story on Oct. 4 titled “Even For a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex on a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work, But Watch It Anyway,” with a link to snippets of the sex tape.
He says the video depicts him “having private consensual sexual relations with an anonymous woman in a private bedroom.”
“The video was taken approximately six years ago and was recorded without plaintiff’s knowledge or consent,” the lawsuit states.
The 12-time world wrestling champion says he made “numerous and repeated demands” to have the video clips removed, but Gawker and its staff refused.
“Numerous media outlets and websites have picked up on the Gawker story and feature links to it, thus exposing hundreds of millions of people to the video excerpts,” Hogan claims.
He says the exposure attracted new viewers and significantly boosted ad revenue for Gawker at his expense.
“Such tremendous benefits are a direct result of the tremendous fame and goodwill of plaintiff, and the public’s interest in his life and activities,” the complaint states.
Hogan demands an order blocking Gawker and its affiliates from “continuing to post, publish, distribute, disseminate and exploit” the sex tape.
He is suing for invasion of privacy, publication of private facts, violation of his publicity rights, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Corporate defendants are Gawker Media, Gawker Entertainment, Gawker Technology, Gawker Sales and Blogwire Hungary Szellemi Alkotast Hasznosito KFT, which owns the domain name Gawker.com. He’s also suing Gawker founder Nick Denton, video editor Kate Bennert and writer-editor A.J. Daulerio.
E. Colin Thompson of DLA Piper is his attorney.
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