Hulk Hogan can't compare his case to Erin Andrews' case, judge rules

hulk hogan gawker florida
A mostly female jury has been seated for Hulk Hogan's $100 million civil suit trial against Gawker.

Hulk Hogan and sportscaster Erin Andrews are both in courtroom battles over graphic recordings that were posted on the Internet.

Andrews, a Fox Sports reporter, was covertly filmed nude through a hotel peephole by a stalker.

Hogan, a former professional wrestler, was filmed having sex with his friend's wife.

A judge ruled Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida, that Hogan's legal team won't be able to cite Andrews' ongoing case in his defense.

The ruling came after a mostly female jury was seated for Hogan's $100 million civil trial against Gawker Media, the New York-based news and gossip site that posted the sex tape.

Judge Pamela Campbell granted a motion by Gawker's lawyers to exclude evidence related to Andrews, whose trial will head to a jury soon.

Campbell said she wanted to avoid "confusion on the legal issues."

In an interview with CNNMoney last month, Hogan's attorney Charles Harder likened his client to Andrews.

Related: Erin Andrews' tears mark two days of emotional testimony

"What's interesting is that I get this sense that the public and media are so in favor of Erin Andrews," Harder told CNNMoney. "But for some reason, Hulk Hogan gets treated a different way."

Campbell addressed the matter two hours after jury selection wrapped on Friday.

Six jurors, plus three alternates, were chosen to decide the trial, which is expected to run about three-and-a-half weeks.

Four of the six jurors, and two out of the three alternates, are women.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for publishing a portion of the salacious footage in 2012. Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker, and former editor A.J. Daulerio are also named as defendants.

The threat to Gawker's solvency prompted the owners to sell a minority stake in the company to an outside investor as a protective measure against the lawsuit.

The video showed Hogan having sex with Heather Clem, then the wife of Tampa-area radio host Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem.

Related: Some in Hulk Hogan jury pool squeamish about watching his sex tape

Bubba Clem permitted Hogan, once a close friend, to have sex with his wife. The tape was recorded by a surveillance camera in Clem's bedroom in 2006.

Clem said that he burned the footage onto a DVD and labeled it as "Hogan." He said nobody was ever supposed to see it.

Jury selection concluded on Friday with Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan asking the remaining 55 potential jurors about their impressions of the First Amendment, their feelings about freedom of expression, and the role of the press.

Related: Hulk Hogan jury pool questioned about his use of racial epithe

Gawker contends that showing the footage is protected by the Constitution because Hogan has made his sex life a matter of public interest

"What is your general impression of the news media these days?" Sullivan asked the jurors at one point.

Juror #3, one of only two men on the six-person jury, told Sullivan that some outlets are "more trustworthy" than others.

"I think people in general have to take the media with a grain of salt," the man said.

When Sullivan asked if material the jurors find personally "distasteful" could still be protected by the Constitution, juror #16, a woman, said that certain material, like child pornography, is not protected.

Sullivan, a soft spoken attorney from Washington, D.C. who has represented a number of media outlets, stressed the importance of listening to both arguments before rendering a judgment.

He reminded the jurors that the trial will be long.

"In a three week trial, it's going to be the plaintiff's case for quite awhile," Sullivan said. "So I really want you think seriously about that: Can I withhold judgment until I've heard both sides?"

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday.


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