PHILADELPHIA – Ex-wrestler Hulk Hogan has brought a second lawsuit against Gawker, less than two months after he won $140 million in a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. The former wrestler first accused Gawker after it published a sex tape of him and a friend’s wife, while the second lawsuit states that the website “intentionally inflicted emotional distress” by leaking a video transcript in which Hogan is quoted as using racial comments, including the n-word.
The transcript was reported in July 2015 by The National Enquirer. The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fired Hogan and removed him from its hall of fame when the recording was published. Hogan, 62, said in August that the whole situation had led him to become suicidal, according to a report by CBS News.
According to The New York Times, Hogan’s racial comments were recorded during a 2007 encounter with the wife of Todd Clem, a radio host and a friend of the wrestler at the time.
The new lawsuit filed by Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, accuses a Florida radio host and several other people of taking part in a conspiracy to extort him and invade his privacy, the Times reported.
“Mr. Bollea said from the beginning that he would seek to hold all persons and entities fully responsible for their wrongful actions,” Bollea’s lawyers said in a statement. “This lawsuit seeks to do just that.”
Shortly before the National Enquirer story was released, Gawker CEO Nick Denton wrote in an article that the ‘real secret’ of Bollea would soon come to light, according to the new lawsuit.
About 14 minutes after the Enquirer posted the confidential transcript [because it was supposed to be court-protected], Gawker managing editor at the time tweeted ‘XOXOXO’ (hugs and kisses), mentioned Plaintiff’s Twitter account and attached a link to the Enquirer’s post.
The documents state that Gawker had several times threatened Plaintiff with the public release of a written transcript, even though the website was not supposed to do so because of a protective order banning its public dissemination.
Gawker’s reaction to a second round with Hogan
Gawker issued a statement on Monday saying the whole situation was getting ridiculous. The website described Hogan’s $100m claim for emotional distress and economic damage as “absurd”, given that the former wrestler had already made his sex life public, the statement reads. Gawker added that it never had another sex tape containing racist remarks.
The website argued it was time for the ex-wrestler to take responsibility for his own words and actions, remarking that Hogan had fired himself from the WWE.
Source: CBS News