Hulk Hogan's $100 Million Legal Battle Against Gawker Begins

The wrestler is suing Gawker over the release of a sex tape.

March 3, 2016, 3:52 PM

— -- Hulk Hogan is preparing for battle in his $100 million lawsuit against the website, Gawker, over the posting of a video showing Hogan having sex with the then-wife of his former best friend.

The 12-time world wrestling champion, whose real name is Terry Bollea, tweeted before court Tuesday that he is ready to “slam” the gossip website.

Jury selection is underway in a St. Petersburg, Florida, courtroom for the case, which centers on the video of Hogan’s having sex with Heather Clem. Clem was, at the time, married to Hogan’s former best friend, Florida radio DJ Todd Clem, aka “Bubba the Love Sponge.”

The tape is believed to have been recorded sometime between 2006 and 2007.

“This is an incredible invasion of Mr. Bollea’s privacy,” Hogan’s lawyer, David Houston, told ABC News. “The video was taken without his knowledge and or consent.”

Gawker argues the tape and Hogan’s affair were newsworthy and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

"We are defending the First Amendment against Hulk Hogan's effort to create a world where celebrities can promote themselves around any topic, in this case sex, and then veto how the media covers their lives...Hulk Hogan bragged about his sex life for years [and] denied this particular sexual encounter," the website said in a statement to ABC News.

Hogan maintains the leaked tape has damaged both his personal and his professional life. In addition, he was wiped from the WWE Hall of Fame in July after the National Enquirer released a previously unheard audio clip from a secretly recorded private encounter in which Hogan is heard making racial slurs.

Hogan, 62, told ABC News’ Amy Robach last year that he was near suicidal after the audio’s release.

"I was at the lowest point of my life, to the point where I wanted to kill myself,” Hogan said in the August 2015 interview.

Opening arguments in the trial are expected to begin on Monday. Hogan is expected to testify in the trial, which is anticipated to last about three weeks.

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