clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Trial (Day 9): The calm before the storm?

On a quiet day for the jury, the biggest stories were the judge denying Gawker's motion to show the jury the full 30-minute Hulk Hogan sex tape and the appellate court denying Hogan's emergency motion to prevent previously sealed documents in the case from being released until the trial is over.

Hulk Hogan's hidden truths may come out tomorrow.
Hulk Hogan's hidden truths may come out tomorrow.
Pool/Getty Images

Here is an overview of day 9 of the trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media:

  • It was a short day for the jury, as they were sent home early after watching excerpts from several videotaped depositions of Hulk Hogan, which may be the last piece of evidence Gawker presents in their defence.
  • However, before that clips aired, Judge Pamela Campbell told the jury that Bubba The Love Sponge wouldn't be testifying due to being "unavailable". In reality, Campbell had quashed Bubba's subpoena on Monday after he had successfully pled the Fifth Amendment (protection from self-incrimination).
  • In his deposition Hogan was asked if he had found it embarrassing appearing in a commercial for where he was shown swinging on a wrecking ball whilst wearing a thong, exposing his naked buttocks. Although he admitted a degree of embarrassment whilst the ad was being filmed in private, Hogan wasn't embarrassed that it was on the Internet, responding "No, because it's an advertisement for a promotional piece in character. It's not Terry Bollea at all."
  • Hogan was also asked about lewd "shoot" comments he had made on Bubba The Love Sponge's radio show. Consistent with his testimony last week, Hogan claimed he was in character during the interview: "I thought we were doing a skit, a comedy routine, so privacy never entered my mind at that time as best as I can recall."
  • Finally, Hogan was asked about whether he had tried to convince TMZ in March 2012 to not run their exclusive story about his sex tapes or threatened them with a lawsuit. He couldn't recall.
  • The point of this was to remind the jury that Hogan had made his sex life newsworthy by being so open about it in public and that he hadn't objected to other media coverage about the sex tape.
  • The rest of the day was spent discussing evidence issues, often at the bench out of earshot from the journalists in attendance.
  • Judge Pamela Campbell officially denied the request of transcripts of bench conferences by journalists Julia Marsh, Anna Phillips and Tom Kludt. This came as no surprise to keen observers of the case.
  • Judge Campbell also denied Gawker's motion to show to the jury the full 30-minute Hulk Hogan sex tape that the company had received and published excerpts from. Clearly, Gawker wanted to prove to the jurors that they had acted responsibly by leaving the most graphic material on the cutting room floor. However, the 1:41 seconds of footage that did post will be made available to jurors to watch during their deliberations. Campbell made her ruling because she felt the full sex tape was not relevant to Gawker's defence that the clips they published were newsworthy and she also raised concerns about the video's "authenticity".
  • Meanwhile, Campbell granted Hogan's attorneys motion to review's live feed of the trial. On Tuesday, Mia Libby, Gawker Media's SVP of Global Sales & Partnerships had claimed that she didn't believe the website was running advertising on the pages that were showing the trial live. Hogan's side is contesting that claim and are also arguing that the website may have even gone so far as to intentionally kill the stream on their site during her testimony. If true, Hogan's lawyers will use this to push for greater punitive damages.
  • The appellate court denied Hogan's attorneys emergency motion to prevent previously sealed documents in the case from being released until the trial is over. Hogan has until 4pm Friday to redact any personal information from the appendices (like phone numbers, email address, etc) at which time they will be released to the public docket. Most observers expect there to be damaging material buried inside these pages given the lengths to which Hogan's side has attempted to keep them secret.
  • Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

    A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats