Last summer, Hogan told PEOPLE, 'Despite all of their threats, I will not back down from this type of evil'

By Greg Hanlon
Updated March 03, 2016 11:55 AM
Credit: Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool

brightcove.createExperiences(); Before the second day of jury selection in the $100 million civil trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media over a leaked sex tape Gawker posted of the wrestler, Gawker issued a statement to the media.

The statement, obtained by PEOPLE, reads: “We are defending the First Amendment against Hulk Hogan’s effort to create a world where celebrities can promote themselves around any topic, in this case sex, and then veto how the media covers their lives.

“The tape shows Hulk Hogan having sex wih his best friend’s wife, and in fact the tape was made by his best friend Bubba who also appears in the video.

“Hulk Hogan bragged about his sex life for years, denied this particular sexual encounter and now thinks his own choices are worth $100 million somehow.

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The trial, in a St. Petersburg, Florida, courtroom, concerns footage posted to Gawker in 2012 showing Hogan, 62, having sex with Heather Clem, 41, the former wife of Florida radio talk show host Bubba the Love Sponge. The clip is less than two minutes long, and has since been pulled from the site.

Hogan, whose birth name is Terry Bollea, claims he did not know the encounter was being filmed.

Last summer, in an interview with PEOPLE, Hogan spoke at length about the suit, saying, “When we got into this thing with Gawker, almost everybody backs down from them.”

He added, “Everybody runs away in fear. Everybody is afraid of their sex tape. In my case, it was sex tape being made and I didn’t even know it was being made. They have the wrong guy. I’m going all the way. The stuff they do to people, the stuff they show. I will not back down from this type of evil. Despite all of their threats, I will not back down from this type of evil.”