Hulk Hogan is ready to take some new opponents to the mat.
The former pro wrestler has sued his friend, disc jockey Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem, the DJ's ex-wife, Heather Cole, and Gawker Media Monday after a sex tape involving Hogan and Cole was posted online.
In two lawsuits filed in Florida, Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) said he had consensual sex with Cole six years ago in the home she shared with Clem but did not know he was being recorded. He's also seeking $100 million in damages from Gawker, which posted a portion of the tape online. Both lawsuits request that Hogan be given the sex tape so it can be destroyed.
A lawyer for Gawker told ABCNews.com, "We intend to fight the lawsuit and we're confident that a court will throw it out because it's basically meritless under the first ammendment."
According to Todd Clem, Hogan was in on the sex tape from the beginning. On his radio show this morning, Clem said he was "brainwashed" by Hogan into letting the WWE champ have sex with his wife. As for Hogan's claims that he was secretly being taped during the act, Clem said, "You can't play the victim like that."
Clem's lawyer hopes the two men can work it out. Attorney Stephen Diaco told The Associated Press that Hogan was the best man at the Clemses' wedding and is also a godfather to their child.
"My hope is that these two can preserve their friendship," he said. "I can't comment on the suit. This has caused harm to Bubba and he didn't release it. He didn't condone the release of it. He wants to find out who did that and he wants that person to be held accountable."
Hogan's not the only star to go on a legal warpath because of a sex tape. Click through for four more memorable celebrity legal battles over raunchy recordings. Given some of their outcomes, maybe he'll get another reality-TV show out of this.
|Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane|
Gawker Media has been on the receiving end of a sex tape lawsuit before. In 2009, "Grey's Anatomy" actor Eric Dane and his wife, Rebecca Gayheart, sued the blog network for publishing their private sex tape, which showed them prancing around their apartment naked with former Miss U.S. Teen Kari Ann Peniche. The following year, Gawker agreed to pay a low-six figure settlement to Dane and Gayheart, according to the New York Daily News.
Were it not for her clandestine bedroom recordings with Ray J, Kim Kardashian might never have become a household name. In 2007, the "pal of Paris Hilton," as People magazine described her at the time, sued Vivid Entertainment for distributing the sex tape she made with ex-beau Willie "Ray J" Norwood, the younger brother of singer Brandy Norwood. She asked for unspecified damages, attorney fees and all profits from the sale of the tape, according to People.
Later that year, she dropped the lawsuit and settled for a reported $5 million. (Kardashian's folks didn't comment on the settlement.) The scandal raised her publicity enough to get her a reality-TV show, clothing line, multiple perfumes and book deals, among other cash cows. But five years later, even her boyfriend, Kanye West, admits the sex tape is still part of her celebrity DNA, rapping in a new song, "My girl a superstar all from a home movie."
In 2004, a little-known heiress named Paris Hilton sued a Panama-based Internet company for $30 million, claiming that it illegally distributed a tape of her having sex with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon. "Hilton intended the videotape only for personal use and never intended or consented that it be shown to anyone else or distributed to the public," the lawsuit said.
Hilton eventually dropped the suit. Salomon struck a deal with porn distributor Red Light District to get 50 percent of the profits from its distribution. In 2006, The New York Times reported that Hilton was also receiving profits from the tape, not counting the perfume, book and reality-TV deals she scored from becoming one of the most notorious celebrities of the aughts.
It took five years for Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee to score a legal victory against the company that released their notorious honeymoon sex tape in 1997. In 2002, a judge granted the former ''Baywatch'' babe and her rocker ex-husband $740,000 each in a default judgment against the Internet Entertainment Group. This was after they reached an agreement with IEG to broadcast an online-only version, but that truce fell apart when IEG began selling a videotape (remember those?), which became a runaway hit that Anderson and Lee wanted to profit from, according to Entertainment Weekly.
It wasn't Anderson's first sex tape scandal. In 2001, she sued IEG for putting out a tape of her cavorting with another '80s rock God, Bret Michaels. She reached a seven-figure, out-of-court settlement and an agreement to destroy all the company's remaining copies of a tape.