Fresh off Hulk Hogan's $140 million courtroom victory against Gawker Media in March, the retired pro wrestler is leveling another legal challenge at the company.
In a 65-page court filing made today, Hogan says that Gawker Media leaked to the National Enquirer now-notorious recordings of Hogan saying extremely racist stuff, thereby destroying the one-time reality TV star's reputation and costing him hefty sums of money. After the Enquirer and tabloid Radar Online published transcripts of Hogan's remarks (which included multiple invocations of the n-word), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) quickly cut ties with him.
Previously, Hogan successfully sued Gawker Media, CEO Nick Denton and then-Gawker.com editor AJ Daulerio for invading his privacy by publishing a sex tape of Hogan in 2012. Though the jury sided with Hogan, awarding $140 million in total damages, the case is widely expected to be overturned by an appellate court.
Now, Hogan isn't just going after Gawker. He's also suing two separate groups of people (mostly lawyers and radio personalities) for conspiring to leak the recordings as well. Hogan's legal team alleges that Gawker sued the FBI for access to the racist recordings, which were part of an FBI investigation into a sex tape blackmail racket in which Hogan was the victim. Hogan's team additionally claims that Gawker did this in order to get the racist recordings out into the public and destroy Hogan's reputation.
The filing, which was made in the same district court as Hogan's previous suit against Gawker, does not specify the amount in damages that Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) is seeking. Over email, his rep Elizabeth Traub told Re/code that "Any damages sought will be argued to the jury."
"Mr. Bollea said from the beginning that he would seek to hold all persons and entities fully responsible for their wrongful actions," the Bollea legal team said in a statement provided by Traub. "This lawsuit seeks to do just that."
In a statement, Gawker Media accused Hogan of "abusing the court system to control his public image."
"It was absurd enough that Hulk Hogan claimed $100 million for emotional distress and economic damage for a story about a sex life that he'd already made public," the statement reads. "Now Hulk Hogan is blaming Gawker for racist remarks he made on another sex tape, which Gawker never had. As we've said before and are happy to say again: Gawker did not leak the information."
The New York Post first reported the news of Hogan's new suit against Gawker.
—By Noah Kulwin, Re/code.net.
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