Jurors From Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Trial Stand By Their Decision: 'We Drew a Line'
Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million by a Florida jury
“There’s absolutely no doubt that the decision we made was absolutely correct,” Shane O’Neill, one of the six jurors, told ABC News on Thursday.
Gawker released nine seconds of a sex tape featuring Hogan and his former best friend’s then-wife Heather Clem, in 2012. During the high-profile trial, Hogan, 62, testified that he didn’t know the sexual liaison was being taped. Gawker’s lawyers countered that the tape was newsworthy, as Hogan openly discussed his sex life during various media interviews at the time.
Gawker’s legal team is already preparing to appeal the decision, which has them paying $15 million to Hogan. The media organization’s founder Nick Denton will cover $10 million, and A.J. Daulerio, the then-editor of the Gawker site Deadspin that posted the video, was ordered to pay $100,000.
“Even if he knew he was being recorded, there’s still no right to put that out there if he doesn’t want it out,” said juror Kevin Kennedy, adding, “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.”
Robin Young said of the pending appeal, “We drew a line and we hope that others draw a line.”
Another juror, Salina Stevens, said she was “looking to see some remorse” from Denton after the verdict, but that he “still had blatant disregard for what he did.”
Charged Young to the British journalist, “Don’t demean yourself by going for the vulgar and the lewd and the trashy. Stick to newsworthy journalism.”
Denton also appeared on Good Morning America, Tuesday, still maintaining his position that Gawker “put the story first and I am unapologetic about that.”
He said he has no remorse for posting the video, arguing “We posted 9 seconds of sexual activity,” not a full sex tape, and that “it is a story that we would do again.”
Denton added of the jury, “It’s the right of the jury not to like the story that we wrote… it’s the free press.”
“It’s a serious case which I think in many people’s eyes is trying to draw the line between privacy and free press,” Denton said, adding, “But I think it’s more about publicity vs the free press.”
After the trial, Hogan told PEOPLE, “At the end of the day, I accomplished my mission and that was to let people know what Gawker is doing and that they’re not legitimate journalists and this is not trying to destroy the First Amendment – we’re trying to protect the First Amendment.”