Court Denies Gawker's Appeal for a New Trial in the Hulk Hogan Case
Hulk Hogan was awarded $140 million in March after Gawker posted portions of a sex tape involving the wrestler
The media organization filed an appeal shortly after a jury awarded Hogan $115 million in compensatory damages, plus an additional $25.1 million in punitive damages this past March in the case surrounding Gawker’s publication of a sex tape involving the wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea.
Judge Pamela Campbell also said the court won’t reduce the damages owed by Gawker, reported CBS Los Angeles.
“Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism,” Hogan’s lawyer David Houston told the Associated Press in a statement.
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The judge’s decision comes just one day after Forbes reported that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a PayPal co-founder, has secretly bankrolled Hogan’s legal fees. The publication cites unnamed sources familiar with the situation, and points out that Gawker tried to out Thiel in 2007. A spokesman for Thiel declined to comment to Forbes.
In Hogan’s initial trial, the 62-year-old wrestler claimed his privacy was violated when Gawker posted a portion of a video in 2012 that showed him having sex with the former wife of his then-friend, a radio host.
WATCH: Jurors Award Hulk Hogan $25.1 Million in Punitive Damages
After the first verdict, Gawker told PEOPLE in a statement that “key evidence was wrongly withheld” in the case, and that “the jury was not properly instructed on the Constitutional standards for newsworthiness.”
At the time, Gawker said, “So we expect to be fully vindicated. And even if the verdict were to stand, there is no justification for awarding tens of millions of dollars never seen by victims of death and serious injuries.”
In response to the Wednesday decision, Hogan wrote on Twitter, “Nothing but net! Swoosh! And so it is, thank you God.”
Hogan and Gawker’s legal battle is not quite over, though. The former pro wrestler filed another lawsuit in Pinellas County Circuit Court against the company for allegedly leaking sealed court documents to the National Enquirer quoting him making racially insensitive comments.