Court ruling gives Hulk Hogan indemnity rights of former Gawker editor

Terry Bollea attorneys Ken Turkel, center, and Shane Vogt, right, pushed for a deeper dive into the ex-editor's finances. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
Terry Bollea attorneys Ken Turkel, center, and Shane Vogt, right, pushed for a deeper dive into the ex-editor's finances.DIRK SHADD | Times
Published August 12 2016
Updated August 12 2016

ST. PETERSBURG — On Thursday, attorneys focused their efforts to get pro wrestler Terry Bollea his hundreds of millions in courtroom winnings on a former Gawker editor in dire financial straits.

Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, sued Gawker for violating his privacy in 2012 after the New York gossip and news website posted a video of the retired wrestler having sex with the wife of his former best friend, Tampa DJ Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

A jury sided with him in March and ordered that Gawker, its CEO Nick Denton and former editor A.J. Daulerio — who wrote the tape's play-by-play — pay Bollea $115 million in compensatory damages and another $25.1 million in punitive damages.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell ruled on Thursday that Bollea is entitled to Daulerio's indemnity rights from Gawker, which could cover the entire judgment against him.

Bollea's attorneys said they appreciate Daulerio's hardship, including more than $26,000 in student loans, but want a deeper dive into his finances.

Daulerio will be deposed on his financial condition by the end of next week. In filings, he noted his drained checking account and his difficulty getting an attorney to advise him.

The judge scheduled an Oct. 31 hearing on Bollea's renewed motion for sanctions against Daulerio, whom lawyers accused of withholding the extent of his indemnification rights and thus misrepresenting his assets.

According to court records, Daulerio does not own a home, car or any other assets. His Gawker stock is worth $3,107.

Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection three months after Bollea won. Denton followed suit earlier this month.

Times staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report. Contact Claire McNeill at cmcneill@tampabay.com.

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