Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge suggests mediation in Hulk Hogan sex tape suit against Gawker

Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker Media over violating his privacy when it published part of a sex tape.

Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker Media over violating his privacy when it published part of a sex tape.

CLEARWATER — Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media should seek mediation instead of a trial, the Pinellas County circuit judge overseeing their case said in a Wednesday hearing.

Judge Pamela Campbell made her suggestion during a discussion about attorneys' upcoming review of DVDs made during an FBI sting operation.

"After the attorneys have an opportunity to look at those DVDs, I'm going to suggest that the attorneys or that you go back to mediation," Campbell said, according to the transcript, obtained and posted late Wednesday by POLITICO Media. "I'm not going to require it, but I think you'll see why."

The former professional wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued Gawker for $100 million in 2012. He accused the company of violating his right to privacy by publishing part of a sex tape of him and Heather Cole, ex-wife of radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

The tape's reported contents — including racial and homophobic slurs — have caused major damage to Bollea's reputation.

Attorneys will now get to review five unredacted DVDs produced by the FBI while the agency investigated a supposed extortion attempt against Bollea.

Gawker sued the FBI to get the records after a federal judge ruled they were available under the Freedom of Information Act. They include two audio recordings and three videos, each of which the FBI says reflects Bollea having sex with Cole.

According to the transcript, the judge recently reviewed the DVDs. She told attorneys to listen to the audio from the agency's sting operation before they watch the videos.

"I'm not saying that they are admissible. In fact, I'm sure some of them definitely are not admissible, but I'll let you all review them, and then we can discuss what each side wants to do with them, which for the majority of those DVDs, it's slim to none."

The trial was set to begin with jury selection in March.

Judge suggests mediation in Hulk Hogan sex tape suit against Gawker 01/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida prison guards seize weapons, cellphones as statewide lockdown enters day 3

    Crime

    MIAMI — The unrest continued for a third day at Florida state prisons, as corrections officers — some of them armed — staged a show of force in an attempt to stave off an unspecified threat of violence this weekend.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  2. Sen. Bill Nelson ready to campaign on GOP failure to fix Obamacare

    State Roundup

    For years, Sen. Bill Nelson has faced a steady barrage of partisan attacks over the Affordable Care Act, but as he begins the 2018 re-election campaign, the Democrat stands to benefit from a flipped script:

     U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson talks to local residents about the Affordable Care Act  at the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida on July 3. )OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times)
  3. Tiger Bay panel: End permanent revocation of voting rights for convicted felons

    Local

    TAMPA – A panel of elected officials and advocates including Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren argued in a forum Friday that Florida should end its practice of permanently revoking the voting rights of people convicted of felonies.

    Rep. Sean Shaw, D- Tampa, on the floor of the Florida House.[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Temple Terrace Citizen of Year skips his awards banquet in protest of Confederate event

    Politics

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Travis Malloy was supposed to show up to the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to pick up his Citizen of the Year award at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

    Instead, Malloy stayed away in protest.

    Travis Malloy declined to collect his Citizen of the Year award at the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club on Thursday to protest the club's decision to host a Southern Heritage event with a War on the South program Sept. 2. Malloy was honored for starting community gardens and a farmers market. [Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce]
  5. Editorial: Making tax increases harder would sentence Florida to mediocrity

    Editorials

    Florida has one of the lowest state tax burdens in the nation, a long list of unmet needs and a Republican-controlled state government that treats any talk of a tax increase as heresy. Yet Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That's …

    Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment to make it even harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. That’s election-year pandering, not leadership.