A document recently made available to the public shows that back in December, well before the trial even began, Gawker claimed that Hulk Hogan and his lawyers were hiding the truth. The gossip site, its founder Nick Denton, and former editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio, had filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, and his attorneys plotted to keep important evidence off the record. The motion was denied, leading to the trial that awarded Hogan $140 million for clips of a sex tape that Gawker put online without his permission.
Gawker claimed back then that Hogan was lying the entire time about the extent of his emotional injury, and was really just trying to hide other tapes, including one that showed him making racist comments. Gawker’s motion to dismiss accused Hogan of covering up any evidence that he knew of any tapes other than the one Gawker used, as well as his intentions behind the lawsuit.
Gawker said in a statement:
“The jury should have known about this cover up, just as the jury should have known that Bubba the Love Sponge told the FBI that Hogan knew he was making a sex tape. But the judge decided to keep all of that secret. As this trial proved, it’s easy to win a case when the jury is only told a fraction of the story.
Thanks to the appeals court, these court documents unsealed today reveal the real story. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, these court papers prove Hogan did not suffer $140 million in economic and emotional harm from a few seconds of a sex tape after he made a career of boasting about his sexual habits.”