It’s been barely more than a month since a Florida jury declared a TKO in the lawsuit against Gawker Media, brought by Hulk Hogan (a.k.a. Terry Bollea), which fined the media company $115 million for posting a clip from a sex tape featuring Hogan. (Plus an additional $25 million “stop doing that” judgment aimed at deterring similar disclosures.) Looks like those intervening weeks have allowed the Hulkster to rest up and prepare to get back in the (legal) ring: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hogan has filed suit anew against Gawker, attempting to execute the courtroom equivalent of a Double Leg Takedown.
The latest filing is in conjunction with revelations that entered the public view shortly before the initiation of his first trial, when transcripts from said sex tape revealed racist comments by the former pro wrestler, comments that caused the WWE to bodyslam him out of its Hall Of Fame. Hogan charges that Gawker repeatedly threatened to go public with the racist remarks as a means of trying to force him to drop or settle the original lawsuit. Gawker, for its part, maintains the remarks reveal Hogan’s true motives behind the lawsuit, and released a statement to that effect:
This is getting ridiculous. Hulk Hogan is a litigious celebrity abusing the court system to control his public image and media coverage. It was absurd enough that Hulk Hogan claimed $100m for emotional distress and economic damage for a story about a sex life that he’d already made public. Now Hulk Hogan is blaming Gawker for racist remarks he made on another sex tape, which Gawker never had.
Hogan is seeking damages based on the idea that Gawker’s actions contributed to the loss of his endorsement contracts and harmed his personal brand. One could also argue that making racist comments in the first place is not such a great branding strategy, but that’s not what this lawsuit is alleging, which also targets lawyers and other media figures involved in the sex-tape machinations. The rest of America, meanwhile, will continue to pretend it hasn’t had to endure discussions of Hulk Hogan’s penis.