Hulk Hogan trial testimony gets raunchy

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: A timeline
Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker: A timeline

Hulk Hogan says that Gawker's publication of excerpts from his sex tape left him with severe emotional distress from which he still hasn't fully recovered.

But on the second day of Hogan's $100 million civil trial in St. Petersburg, Florida, the defense sought to portray the former professional wrestler as someone who has been willing to broach raunchy aspects of the tape on TV and radio.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for publishing a one minute and 40 seconds package from the sex tape in 2012. The author of the post, former editor A.J. Daulerio, and Gawker Media founder Nick Denton are named as defendants, along with the site's parent company.

The tape showed Hogan, 62, engaged in sex with the wife of radio host Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem, once a close friend.

Wrapping up two days on the stand Tuesday at the Pinellas County Judicial Building, Hogan said he's a shell of the person he used to be, which he blamed in part on Gawker's publication.

hulk hogan vs gawker

"I would say I'm not the same person I was before all this craziness happened," Hogan said during his second day on the witness stand.

Hogan said he couldn't eat or sleep.

"I had a really hard time just functioning," he said. "My whole life changed."

But in three hours of cross-examination that frequently veered into X-rated territory, Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan presented several media interviews in which Hogan spoke candidly about his sex life -- and the sex tape itself.

Hogan said he "didn't have a problem discussing" the matter. Nor did he have any objections to a TMZ reporter writing an article about the sex tape.

Related: Hulk Hogan says man beneath the bandana was 'humiliated'

"My problem is this whole videotape that you guys put up," Hogan told Gawker's lawyer. "It lives forever. It will be there forever on the Internet. That's the problem."

Attorneys for Gawker argue that publishing Daulerio's story and posting the video are protected by the First Amendment because Hogan has made his sexual exploits a matter of public interest, and that the sex tape had already been the subject of media coverage.

Hogan's attorneys contend that there was a way for Gawker to tell the story without publishing any of the footage.

Sullivan also showed a clip from the now-canceled reality show "Hogan Knows Best" in which the ex-wrestler had his pants down, exposing a part of his derriere. Hogan said he "wasn't embarrassed" by that clip because it was simply "part of the show."

Related: Hulk Hogan on how wrestling's 'kayfabe' went big time

That clip was tame compared to radio interviews Hogan did that were played in court on Tuesday. In one 2006 interview with Clem, Hogan and the host discussed the size of his penis.

Echoing an argument he and his legal team made on Monday, Hogan said he was in character when he made the lewd remarks.

Daulerio, seated behind Gawker's attorneys, placed his hand in his eyes, as if to contain the laughter.

Related: Hulk Hogan fans - even the youth minister - on his side in sex tape trial

Sullivan also played clips from multiple interviews Hogan has done with Howard Stern. One interview came in October of 2012, days after Gawker published a portion of the footage.

The lawyer wondered why -- if Hogan considered the sex tape to be so sensitive, and perhaps even the subject of litigation -- did he agree to discuss it on Stern's radio program.

"I was on an entertainment show and I had to be an entertainer, so I just kept going," Hogan said.


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