Hulk Hogan jury to be spared watching full 30 minute sex tape

Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker trial in under two minutes
Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker trial in under two minutes

The jury in Hulk Hogan's $100 million invasion of privacy trial against Gawker Media will not have to watch the full version of the former professional wrestler's sex tape.

Judge Pamela Campbell denied a motion on Thursday by Gawker to make the full 30 minute tape available to jurors during their deliberations.

Gawker published a nearly two-minute highlight reel of the tape in 2012, along with a lengthy commentary. The edited video package, which was viewed 2.5 million times at Gawker, will be available to jurors during deliberations.

In her ruling on Thursday afternoon, Campbell said it was not relevant to Gawker's defense that the publication of the video package was newsworthy.

Prior to Campbell's ruling, jurors in the St. Petersburg, Florida, courthouse were shown three depositions intended to paint Hogan as a bawdy celebrity who didn't object to other coverage of the sex tape -- points raised repeatedly by the defense throughout the trial.

Related: Hulk Hogan's sex partner on sex tape is emotional in taped testimony

Hogan appeared on the stand last week, but Thursday's depositions gave Gawker one more opportunity to raise questions about Hogan's discomfort with some aspect of his sex life going public.

In a 2014 deposition, Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was shown an advertisement he did for the web hosting company Hostamania. The ad parodied the music video for Miley Cyrus' hit single "Wrecking Ball," and closed with a shot of Hogan's exposed derriere.

Gawker argues that its publication of the sex tape is protected by the First Amendment in part because of how much Hogan has made his sex life a matter of public interest.

Hogan's attorneys have countered that argument by claiming that there is a difference between his wrestling persona and the man behind the character.

Related: Gawker founder forced to read from sex tape excerpts

After saying that his in-ring persona is both wholesome and family-oriented, Hogan was asked in the deposition if he felt embarrassed that the ad is available on the internet.

"No, because it's an advertisement for a promotional piece in character," he said. "I think it's fun."

Although some people told him it was in poor taste, Hogan said the advertisement had "very few haters."

In another 2014 deposition, Gawker's attorneys played a clip of a lewd interview between Hogan and Bubba "the Love Sponge" Clem, the radio host who recorded the sex tape. The tape showed Hogan having sex with Clem's wife at the time, Heather Cole. Hogan settled with both Clem and Cole out of court.

Hogan said in the deposition that he did the interview in character.

"I thought we were doing a skit, a comedy routine, so privacy never entered my mind at that time as best as I can recall," he said.

During a 2015 deposition, Hogan was questioned on his reaction to TMZ's coverage of the sex tape. TMZ first reported on the existence of the tape in March 2012, months before Gawker posted the excerpts.

Did Hogan ever try to convince TMZ not to run the story, or threaten the gossip outlet with a lawsuit?

"Not that I recall," he said.

After the depositions finished before noon, jurors were excused for the day. Closing arguments, which were originally expected to come on Thursday, will wait until Friday morning.


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