Gawker Appeals Jury's Decision to Award Hulk Hogan $140 Million Over Sex Tape: 'The Jury Was Guided by Passion and Prejudice'

"Gawker is now beginning the process of challenging the jury's verdict," Gawker's statement reads

Photo: Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times/AP

Gawker media has filed two motions appealing a jury’s decision to award $140 million last month to Hulk Hogan after the website posted portions of a sex tape involving the wrestler.

“There is substantial evidence that, in reaching its verdict as to both liability and damages, the jury was guided by passion and prejudice, rather than the pertinent facts and the law,” states Gawker’s court papers, which were obtained by PEOPLE.

A St. Petersburg, Florida, jury awarded Hogan $115 in compensatory damages plus an additional $25.1 in punitive damages.

Hogan, 62, whose real name is Terry Bollea, claimed his privacy was violated when Gawker posted a portion of a video in 2012 showing him having sex with Heather Clem, the former wife of his then-friend Todd Clem, a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge, a radio shock jock, who filmed the encounter.

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Gawker had argued that posting the sex tape was protected by the First Amendment, and that Hogan’s complaint was undermined because he has publicly discussed his sex life.

In an interview with ABC News, juror Kevin Kennedy said, “It’s just amazing, everything that I listened to. They have no heart, no soul, it’s all about the almighty dollar to them and it’s sick.”

Juror Robin Young, when asked about a possible appeal, said, “We drew a line and we hope that others draw a line.”

A statement to PEOPLE from Gawker Media read: “Gawker is now beginning the process of challenging the jury’s verdict in a trial where key evidence was wrongly withheld and the jury was not properly instructed on the Constitutional standards for newsworthiness. 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.”

Hogan’s attorney, David Houston, wrote, “Gawker has made no secret of the fact that they were planning to file a motion for a new trial and an appeal based on arguments that are meaningless to the case at hand. We emerged victorious once and we plan to do so again. Of note it is apparent Gawker is unable to accept responsibility for their actions or demonstrate any intention of correcting their behavior.”

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