Former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan took the stand on Tuesday in his ongoing invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker.
Hogan, legal name Terry Bollea, is suing the media company and seeking $100 million in damages for publishing a portion of a sex tape involving himself and the ex-wife of a former friend, in addition to a graphic 1,400 word description of the video’s contents. He says he was unaware the encounter was being taped, and Gawker says it received the video from an anonymous source.
Bollea, 62, testified Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Fla. and maintained a stance that he is no longer the character he portrayed as Hulk Hogan. Gawker has taken a stance that Bollea’s “frequent public discussion of his sex life made the clip newsworthy and thus protected by the First Amendment”, according to NPR. The suit has raised questions about the nature of privacy and celebrity.
According to the New York Times, Bollea defended his actions as part of his Hogan persona and referred to interviews with personalities including Howard Stern, in which he discussed aspects of his personal love life and other related topics.
“I was on an entertainment show: I had to be an entertainer,” Mr. Bollea said, referring to Mr. Stern’s program. “When you’re on his show, you know it’s a character-driven show, so you just roll with it. You have to take the good with the bad.”
...[Bollea] acknowledged that a celebrity must put up with certain pressures and scrutiny that most people don’t experience. “I’m kind of concerned about Hulk Hogan’s privacy, but you kind of give it away,” he said. “But in the privacy of your own home, no one invades my privacy.”
Bollea also said that he was not concerned with “news outlets discussing or even writing about the sex tape,” but that the video being disseminated online is what caused him to suffer.
The case remains ongoing.