Terry Gene Bollea popularly known by his ring name Hulk Hogan has been awarded an additional $25.1 million as punitive damage in his lawsuit against Gawker by a Florida Jury.
Hulk Hogan had sued Gawker, founder Nick Denton and former editor A.J. Daulerio for violating his privacy by posting a snippet of a sex tape.
The $25 million is in addition to an earlier $115 million verdict to punish the news site for posting a sex tape that violated the wrestler’s privacy by posting a 90-second clip of him having sex with the wife of his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge.
CNN money reports that the six juror, after deliberating nearly four hours on the punitive part of the case, said that Gawker was liable for $15 million in punitive damages and Denton was liable for $10 million. Daulerio was found liable for an additional $100,000.
The same four women and two men juror slammed Gawker with a surprising $115 million damages award on Friday, the source reports.
The decision brings the total verdict to $140.1 million, counting the $115 million in compensatory damages that came after the end of a two-week trial where Hogan emerged victorious on his claims of privacy intrusion, publicity rights violation and infliction of emotional distress.
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Hulk Hogan and his attorney David Houston, outside the courthouse in St. Petersburg, Florida, hailed the jury’s decision and later thanked God for the outcome of the case via his twitter handle,
“I feel great. I’m really happy about everything that’s happened,” Hogan said. “I think we made history today because I think we protected a lot of people from maybe going through what I went through. So we’re very excited, very happy.” the source said
responding to a question to if he expected such a steep monetary judgment, Hogan said he “didn’t know what to expect.”…“It was only the right thing to do, folks,” Houston chimed in. “Of course we did.”
Denton vowed to appeal the case: “We have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately.”
“Given that key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all know the appeals court will need to resolve the case,” Denton said.
The clip, though reportedly posted in 2012, was recorded in 2007.
Describing the impact that the release of the tape had on his life Hulk Hogan said: “I’m torn, my family is torn. It turned my world upside down. I was depressed. I was at a low point in my life and when Bubba said to come to his house, I was just desperate and I went over there and one thing led to another.”
Gawker attorney Michael Berry’s told the jurors that their decision will have far reaching implications on the entire news media industry.
“Your verdict will send a chill down the spine of writers, producers and publishers throughout the country,” Berry said.