Gawker Starts Appeal on $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict
Apr 06, 2016 01:35 AM EDT
Gawker Media has filed two motions yesterday challenging the verdict regarding the $140 million case, which wrestler Hulk Hogan has won. The case between the two parties was about the published sex tape of the prominent wrestler and the wife of his former best friend.
In a report by Wired, a Florida jury announced last month that Gawker violated Hogan's privacy for posting the sex video online. The video was originally more than 30 minutes but it has been cut down to a minute and a half and only nine seconds of it showed the actual intercourse taking place. $140.1 million in total damages has been awarded to the wrestler which Gawker has to pay. The defendants named in the case were Gawker founder Nick Denton and former Gawker.com editor A.J. Daulerio.
Accordingly, the new motions filed by Gawker argues that they deserve a new trial and that the multimillion dollar damages should be "vacated or greatly reduced." The other motion requests that a judge should overturn the decision of the jury. They claim that the key evidence was wrongly withheld from the jury during the trial and that the jury was not properly instructed on the Constitutional standards of newsworthiness, Ars Technica reported.
The company said in a statement that they 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," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Gawker maintained throughout the trial that the edited video posted was published because it was a matter of public concern arguing that the post was protected speech. However, the legal team of Hogan argued that the video was private and that posting it led to the emotional distress of the wrestler, to which the jury agreed to.
If the verdict is not reduced, it could be a threat to Gawker financially. It has been found out that the company only had $44.3 million revenue back in 2014 and last year, it only saw a $48.7 million in revenue.