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Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: Jury selection as told in tweets

 Legendary wrestler and sports icon Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, posed for a patriotic portrait at his restaurant and bar Hogan's Beach in Tampa in 2014. [Luis Santana | Times]

Legendary wrestler and sports icon Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, posed for a patriotic portrait at his restaurant and bar Hogan's Beach in Tampa in 2014. [Luis Santana | Times]

Sympathizers, haters and the generally indifferent filed into a small St. Petersburg courtroom by the hundreds this week, called upon in the name of civic duty to talk about Hulk Hogan's sex tape.

If that isn't enough to give you an idea of the kinds of questions potential jurors in Hogan's $100 million civil case against the gossip site Gawker were asked — and the kinds of answers they offered back — we'll add a few more juicy details.

LIVE BLOG: Follow the latest from the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker case

The sex tape, all one-minute and 41-seconds of it, showed the former professional wrestler having sex with his ex-best friend's then-wife in 2006. That ex-best friend is Tampa radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, and he was the one behind the camera. Apparently, the Hulk had no idea he was being filmed.

And to top it all off, the tape was leaked in 2012 to a reporter at Gawker, which then posted the excerpt online with an unflattering play-by-play of Hulk Hogan's, ahem, performance.

They titled it, "Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed Is Not Safe for Work but Watch It Anyway."

Spoiler alert: all but nine seconds of the video is mostly uncomfortable pillow talk.

But it was enough to prompt the Hulk, real name Terry Bollea, file a lawsuit against both Clem and Gawker for violating his privacy. Bollea settled out of court with Clem, but he couldn't do the same with Gawker.

After years of legal back and forth, jury selection for this very bizarre — and very Florida — trial began this week.

Hundreds of locals from the city once known as God's Waiting Room were summoned to court, and some had to fill out a 14-page questionnaire that included inquiries about how much they knew of the relevant players.

On Wednesday, a smaller pool of potential jurors were asked to return and face even more questions.

On both days, their answers did not disappoint, demonstrating just how tough choosing a jury could be for attorneys on both sides.

The Hulk himself set the tone for the legal cage match, when he showed up to court dressed to impress.

It didn't take long for some to begin their quest to get the heck outta there.

There was the guy who couldn't even make it through the rules without trying to duck and cover.

Others just openly admitted they would be unable to place their civic duty above binge-watching House of Cards on Netflix.

This "opinionated" lady took the whole oath thing pretty seriously.

Others just had no idea what Gawker is.

There were those who had to admit they'd already watched the sex tape — willingly. (Selected jurors will be required to).

One juror talked about a touching moment he once shared with the Hulkster.

When the topic of Bollea's use of the "n" word came up, several jurors offered their unfiltered thoughts.

Some felt solidarity with the former professional wrestler.

Others just had no patience.

And somehow, even the sport of professional wrestling took a blow.

Contact Katie Mettler at kmettler@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3446. Follow @kemettler.

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: Jury selection as told in tweets 03/03/16 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2016 3:59pm]
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