Flickr photographer maxgoldstein via Wikimedia Commons
It has been quite the couple of days for the dysfunctional Hogan family. Both Hulk Hogan and his ex-wife Linda have had their mugs plastered all over TMZ today, Hulk for threatening a lawsuit over Gawker publishing video clips of his sex tape, while Linda got headlines for being arrested for a DUI at 1:34 AM on Thursday morning in Malibu, California.
It has been quite the couple of days for the dysfunctional Hogan family. Both Hulk Hogan and his ex-wife Linda have had their mugs plastered all over TMZ today for events that happened yesterday, which would usually suit them down to the ground, the publicity junkies that they are, but both were in the news for two separate, highly embarrassing incidents.
Let's start with the Hulkster. It all started in March, when TMZ broke the news that one of Hulk's former playmates had secretly taped them having sex together and was shopping the video to porn companies like Vivid Entertainment. At the time, due to the legalities involved and the poor quality of the footage, no-one bit the bullet on purchasing the rights to the sex tape. Whatcha gonna do when you have a tape of Real American sex-mania running wild, but no one will pay you for it?
This week, we found the answer to that rhetorical question when a DVD copy of the "action" was sent for free to Gawker's doorstep, a controversial New York based blog, who promptly published the most humiliating clips of the half hour dirty session for voyeurs everywhere on the web to view:
"Last week, a burned DVD copy of Hulk having sex with the woman rumored to be Heather Clem (Bubba [The Love Sponge]'s ex-wife), was delivered to us through an anonymous source. They wanted no payment. They wanted no credit. Their only request was that we watch it. So I did-all 30:17 of it-and hyperbole aside, it's a goddamn masterpiece."
Perhaps the most damaging part of the story for Hulk's reputation is that the fling happened before he had officially broken up with his ex-wife Linda and she filed for divorce in November 2007, proven by Hulk sharing the following anecdote to his lady friend before having to depart:
"My phone rings tonight, right.... She says "It's Heather. I'm so and so's twin sister." She says to me, she goes: "[Your son] Nick says you and your wife are getting divorced. Is that true?" And I said: "Well I dunno." She goes: "If you're getting divorced I wanna be the first one to go out with you." The girl that Nick's dating, her twin sister said that to me on the phone and I don't know how the fuck she got my number."
This contradicts his 2009 autobiography, My Life Outside the Ring, where Hulk Hogan attempted to paint himself as the good guy in the break up of his marriage with Linda, claiming that though he had developed friendships with other women during their marriage together, he had never cheated on her. Yeah, and Andre The Giant was 700 pounds when you slammed him at WrestleMania III too, tearing the muscles in your back!
In response to Gawker's actions, unsurprisingly Hulk Hogan got his lawyer to contact TMZ, who threatened litigation against the site if they don't remove the sex clip promptly:
Hulk's lawyer David R. Houston tells TMZ, "This tape was made secretly without Hulk's knowledge or permission. We are going to do everything in our power to figure out who did it. Anyone displaying the tape will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."
My suggestion to Hulk is don't waste your money on a lawsuit that could ultimately prove fruitless when the world has already seen the footage. The closest example in professional wrestling history is the family of Nancy Benoit suing Hustler Magazine for publishing nude pictures of a private photo shoot she had done in 1984, many months after her tragic murder. Though the Toffoloni family was awarded a whopping judgement of $19.2 million in their favour from a jury, the judge in charge of the case lowered the award to $375,000 due to Georgia's $250,000 limit on punitive damages and then they lost their subsequent appeal when they couldn't prove the defendant had acted with an intent to harm.
Not to be outdone by her ex-husband, just eight hours after Hulk's TMZ story, Linda got a headline on their too, for being arrested for driving under the influence at 1:34 AM Thursday morning in Malibu, CA. She was pulled over for speeding and had to take a breathalyser test, where she recorded a 0.084 blood alcohol reading, only slightly above the 0.08 legal limit in California. Apparently Linda was also booked for driving on a suspended license, which her media representative disputes. That rep also gave a weak excuse for the slip up:
The rep claims Linda was on her way home from a jewelry function in L.A. where she drank a glass of champagne on an empty stomach -- in combination with antibiotics that exacerbated the effects of the alcohol.
That could very well be true, but she's wealthy enough that she could have easily got herself a taxi so that she wouldn't have to drive back impaired. Drinking and driving is dumb, Cagesiders, just don't do it.