Hulk Hogan’s attorneys filed a motion on January 22nd asking that Gawker Media and Heather Clem be transferred from federal court to Florida State court. It was noted that Clem refused to be a part of any settlement discussions after early attempts didn’t work out. Hogan’s attorneys also tried to get a motion by Gawker to dismiss the lawsuit thrown out. Hogan claims that the federal court doesn’t have the grounds to dismiss the case because it should have been in Florida State courts to begin with.
If the court doesn’t agree to transfer the case, Hogan argues that the First Amendment doesn’t give Gawker the right to “trammel” Hogan’s rights by posting the video “for all the world to see.” His attorneys say the “fact” of the story itself “may be newsworthy” (which is what Gawker said it was), posting unblurred highlights is a violation of Hogan’s privacy and not protected by the First Amendment. They also argued that it’s no different than the First Amendment not protecting someone if they yell “Fire” in a crowded theater.
They also argue that the fact Hogan mentioned sexual encounters with someone else or a tape in the past or in his autobiography doesn’t mean he gave up his rights to privacy. They said he sued as soon as he knew the tape existed and claimed he had no knowledge he was being filmed at the time.
The lawyers claim that Gawker posted a private video online for free, and this is not journalism. It’s more like using the video for commercial profit and if this is allowed to happen, the court is sending the message that anyone who is a celebrity must give up their rights to anything that happens in the privacy of their bedroom.