Hulk Hogan has had his request to compel Gawker to immediately remove footage of his sex tape shot down. A federal judge in Florida ruled against Hogan’s request, agreeing with Gawker’s defense that the footage is newsworthy because of Hogan’s celebrity status. The judge, James D. Whittemore, also said that Hogan’s constant publicizing of his private life via his reality show and autobiography contributed to the decision, writing:
“Plaintiff’s public persona, including the publicity he and his family derived from a television reality show detailing their personal life, his own book describing an affair he had during his marriage, prior reports by other parties of the existence and content of the Video, and Plaintiff’s own public discussion of issues relating to his marriage, sex life, and the Video all demonstrate that the Video is a subject of general interest and concern to the community.”
The footage depicts Hogan having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem. No ruling has yet been made regarding the $100 million lawsuit itself; this was simple regarding Hogan’s request for a preliminary injunction against the video.
Here is an article from TMZ.com regarding this:
Hulk Hogan’s sex tape will STAY ON THE INTERNET … at least for the foreseeable future — because a judge has just denied the wrestler’s bid to yank it from the web ASAP.
You’ll recall, Hulk sued Gawker for $100 million for publishing his sex tape — and filed a preliminary motion demanding Gawker take the tape down immediately, while the case makes its way through the court system.
But today, a judge refused to order Gawker to do squat — ruling Hulk failed to prove the website wasn’t within its First Amendment rights to post the video in the first place.
Moreover, the judge wrote, “This is an example of where the proverbial ‘cat is out of the bag'” … i.e. everyone on the planet’s already seen the tape, so it’s too late to protect Hulk’s privacy.
That said, the judge could still decide to order Gawker to remove the tape if Hulk were to win the case at the end of the day.
But after today’s order, it doesn’t look good …