TAMPA — A federal judge has ordered the FBI to turn over evidence related to professional wrestler Hulk Hogan's sex tape.
Gawker sued the FBI after it refused a Freedom of Information Act request for the evidence, which could find its way into Hogan's invasion of privacy suit against the gossip site. Hogan sued Gawker after it published parts of the sex tape in 2012.
According to documents, Hogan's attorney contacted the FBI. The U.S. attorney's office decided not to prosecute anyone, but the FBI accumulated lots of evidence related to the tape. In 2013, Gawker filed an FOIA request with the FBI for the evidence and planned to use it in its defense against Hogan.
According to the website Capital New York, "Judge Susan Bucklew of Florida's Middle District ordered that the FBI and the (U.S. Attorney's Office) turn over to Gawker all of the documents by Friday. Under Bucklew's order, the FBI and (the U.S. Attorney's Office) can withhold documents that they believe are exempt from FOIA, but they must justify these exemptions by filing a 'categorical index' of documents — laying out the specifics of which exemptions apply to which documents — by Tuesday. Bucklew will then hold a follow-up hearing next Thursday to rule on whether or not those exemptions actually apply or whether those documents, too, must be released.''