CLEARWATER — The judge was back in his chambers, the courtroom had emptied out, and the day's official business was in the books, but the most dramatic moment in Thursday's Hulk Hogan divorce hearing was still to come.
Linda Bollea's attorney, Ray Rafool, was giving an interview in front of half a dozen television cameras at the back of the room when Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, butted in.
"What about morally? What do you think of John Graziano?" Hogan shouted.
Rafool was answering a reporter's question about Linda Bollea's liability in the crash that injured Graziano in August 2007.
Don't interrupt, the Miami-based lawyer warned Hogan. Hulk said he'd do whatever he wanted to. The two men closed the distance to square off. Rafool weighs 205 pounds and has a quick tongue. Hogan wrestled at an imposing 6 feet 7 and 300 pounds, although a recent back surgery has left him on crutches.
"Are you going to wrestle me?" Rafool taunted. "You're an actor. You're acting now."
The shouting escalated as the gaggle of reporters gave way before the two men. The room took on the air of a wrestling ring.
A second bailiff came in to demand decorum.
It was a chaotic end to a productive hearing, one that started with Hogan autographing a photo for Rafool's son.
In just over two hours of proceedings, the sides took care of two pieces of business: freeing up money for Hogan from the couple's frozen accounts and setting a date for the divorce trial.
Hogan had asked the court for access to $300,000 per month from the family's frozen accounts. He said without that money he wouldn't be able to pay his bills.
Linda Bollea is receiving $40,000 a month in temporary alimony payments and her lawyer insisted that fair is fair: Hogan should be restricted to the same budget.
Circuit Judge George Greer heard the testimony about all Hogan's legal and business expenses. He ruled that Hogan could take out $225,000 per month for the next three months.
The trial is set to start Oct. 5 and last about three weeks.
Jonathan Abel can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 445-4157.