Gawker Files Motions Challenging Jury's Verdict in Hulk Hogan Invasion of Privacy Case

A jury awarded the former pro wrestler more than $140 million last month.

April 5, 2016, 3:38 PM

— -- Gawker has filed motions challenging the jury's verdict in the Hulk Hogan invasion of privacy case.

The media company has filed a Motion for New Trial asking for a new trial or for the amount in damages awarded to Hogan be vacated or drastically reduced. Gawker also filed a Motion for Judgment Not Withstanding the Verdict, essentially asking the judge to throw out the jury's verdict because the company believes it was the wrong decision.

"Gawker is now beginning the process of challenging the jury's verdict in a trial where key evidence was wrongly withheld and the jury was not properly instructed on the Constitutional standards for newsworthiness. So we expect to be fully vindicated," Gawker said in a statement to ABC News. "And even if the verdict were to stand, there is no justification for awarding ten (sic) of millions of dollars never seen by victims of death and serious injuries."

David Houston, Hogan's legal counsel, responded to news of Gawker's motions with the following statement: "Gawker has made no secret of the fact that they were planning to file a motion for a new trial and an appeal based on arguments that are meaningless to the case at hand. We emerged victorious once and we plan to do so again. Of note it is apparent Gawker is unable to accept responsibility for their actions or demonstrate any intention of correcting their behavior."

Last month, a Florida jury sided with Hogan, who sued Gawker Media after the website posted a portion of a video of the former pro wrestler having sex with the then-wife of his former best friend, Bubba Clem. Hogan -- whose real name is Terry Bollea -- was awarded a whopping $115 million in compensatory damages plus an added $25.1 million in punitive damages, for a total of $140.1 million.

In its motion for a new trial filed Monday night, Gawker claims that the verdict "went against the manifest weight of the evidence in this case" and that the jury based its decision on "passion and prejudice, and, in particular, on its general distaste" for the media company.

Gawker also claims that Hogan's attorney used "improper" arguments during his closing statement when he said that the media company did not deserve First Amendment freedom of speech protection because "it was not 'serious journalism' that followed 'basic journalism practices,' such as 'don’t do things that harm other people unless you have to' and 'be decent' in gathering information."

In a statement after the trial, Gawker’s General Counsel, Heather Dietrick, told ABC News, "Soon after Hulk Hogan brought his original lawsuits in 2012, three state appeals court judges and a federal judge repeatedly ruled that Gawker's post was newsworthy under the First Amendment. We expect that to happen again -- particularly because the jury was prohibited from knowing about these court rulings in favor of Gawker, prohibited from seeing critical evidence gathered by the FBI and prohibited from hearing from the most important witness, Bubba Clem."

Clem recorded the tape of Hogan having sex with Clem's then-wife Heather Cole. Hogan and Cole both testified that they did not know they were being filmed at the time.

Last month Hogan told ABC News’ Linzie Janis that he believes he did the right thing by suing the media company.

"If they win the appeal, all I pray is that they change and become actually journalists and legitimate journalists and do the right thing, you know, with their power," Hogan said.

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