The trial over the publication of a sex tape featuring wrestling legend Hulk Hogan moved to final arguments on Friday, with both sides making their case to the jury.
Hogan’s lawyer, Kenneth Turkel, maintained that his client had a reasonable expectation of privacy during the encounter.
“I think that being in a bedroom with your best friend’s wife should be something Terry should expect to be private,” Turkel told the jury in a Florida courtroom, referring to the wrestler by his real name, Terry Bollea.
He also characterized Hogan as “a regular family guy” who is “self-conscious about the size of his head.”
Turkel also tore into Gawker for not contacting Hogan before publishing the video,
“He wasn’t even called before this was put up,” Turkel said, adding, “they didn’t have the
During his closing argument, Turkel said, “all that was ever asked was that Gawker be decent” and added, “the place is run by a guy who literally believes we don’t have privacy rights,” repeatedly tearing into Gawker founder Nick Denton’s stance on privacy.
Turkel repeatedly sought to distinguish Terry Bollea the man from Hulk Hogan the wrestling character.
“He is essentially an actor, an entertainer,” Turkel said, later noting, “He can’t trust a lot of people, he can’t have a lot of friends, because everybody wants the actor, they want the character, they want Hulk Hogan.”
Gawker’s attorney, meanwhile, suggested that both the sex tape and lawsuit might be a “publicity stunt,” Fox News reports.
Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million over the 2012 publication of the tape, which featured the wrestler having sex with the then-wife of his friend, radio shock jock Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem.
The wrestler contends that the publication of the tape was an invasion of his privacy. Gawker, meanwhile, contends that the publication of the tape is protected by the First Amendment.
During final arguments, the attorney for Gawker questioned why Hogan’s team didn’t show the jury the video excerpt that the site published, contending that the Gawker video “does not show all that much.
“The video Gawker posted is not like a real celebrity sex tape. It’s not like Kim Kardashian. It’s not in color. You don’t see close-ups of body parts. You don’t see graphic sex acts in vivid detail,” the attorney said, urging the jury to watch the video, which has been entered into evidence, during their deliberations.
Hogan has maintained that he was unaware that the sexual encounter was being recorded.
Earlier in the trial, Hogan testified that the publication of the sex tape has “turned my world upside-down,” adding, “I was completely humiliated.”