Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Gawker Lawsuit

The jury ruled unanimously in favor of Hogan on all counts.

ByABC News
March 18, 2016, 7:45 PM

— -- Hulk Hogan was awarded a $115 million verdict in his case against Gawker after the jury ruled unanimously in his favor Friday.

Hogan was awarded $55 million in economic damages and $60 million for emotional distress. There will be a hearing on Monday to determine if punitive damages will be awarded.

"We're exceptionally happy with the verdict," Hogan's team said in a statement. "We think it represents a statement as to the public's disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism. The verdict says no more."

In addition, Gawker founder Nick Denton and A.J. Daulerio, then the editor of the website, were also held liable.

In the wake of the verdict, Hogan tweeted about his gratitude:

Hogan sued Gawker for $100 million after the site published a portion of a sex tape with the former wrestler and his friend's then-wife in 2012.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, testified in Pinellas County Circuit Court last week, explaining how the sexual encounter took place with the then- wife of his friend Todd Clem, a radio personality in Florida, from whom he is now estranged. The former WWF champ said he wasn't aware he was being taped and when the tape was released "my whole world went upside down."

The taping occurred before Hogan and his ex-wife Linda divorced in 2009. Hogan sued for invasion of privacy and much of his testimony centered on the difference between his fictional character, and Bollea, the private citizen.

Clem's ex-wife and the woman in the tape, Heather Cole, who was in an open marriage, testified via prerecorded video earlier this week that she didn't know she was being taped. She added that she didn't know who leaked the video to Gawker.

Gawker's position is that Hogan filed his lawsuit in an effort to get “lots and lots of money," the company's lawyer, Michael Berry, said in his opening statements last week. Berry added that Denton, who founded Gawker in 2002, wanted “the public to have the simple, unvarnished truth … about public figures.”

Denton and the editor at the time of the video's publishing, A.J. Daulerio, testified this week.

According to The Associated Press, Denton testified the 101-second clip "showed Hogan as a person," but that he didn't see the tape before Daulerio posted it on the site.

In a statement, Denton said in a statement:

“Given key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case. I want to thank our lawyers for their outstanding work and am confident that we would have prevailed at trial if we had been allowed to present the full case to the jury. That’s why we feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately.”