Gawker Media’s motion to dismiss the Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, v. Gawker Media case on the grounds of fraud was unsealed in court on Wednesday. It had been filed Dec. 22 in Pinellas County, Fla.
The motion read in part, “Since almost the outset of this case, plaintiff Terry Bollea and his legal team have engaged in a systematic effort to hide from Gawker and this court the existence of additional tapes of his encounters with Heather Clem, including one that shows him making a series of racist and homophobic statements. To that end, he and his counsel have provided false interrogatory responses, hidden plainly responsive documents, given false deposition testimony, and presented numerous false arguments to the Special Discovery Magistrate, this Court, and the District Court of Appeal.”
In March, a jury awarded Bollea $140 million in damages in his case against Gawker Media. Bollea had claimed that Gawker violated his right to privacy when it posted a tape of him having sex with Clem, his then-best friend’s wife. Bollea claimed that he was filmed without his knowledge.
Gawker said Wednesday, “The court documents finally unsealed today prove that Hulk Hogan’s actual concern was not the supposed privacy of his sex life, but the contents of another sex tape — one that Gawker never had — that recorded him making repeated racist statements about his daughter’s boyfriend. The court papers show how Hogan engaged in a massive cover up, denying under oath that he knew about the tape with his racist rant despite clear evidence proving he did. Hogan also denied knowing about an FBI investigation he requested and claimed his representatives had never seen the tape with the racist remarks, even though FBI evidence includes them watching the tape.
“The jury should have known about this cover up, just as the jury should have known that Bubba the Love Sponge told the FBI that Hogan knew he was making a sex tape. But the judge decided to keep all of that secret. As this trial proved, it’s easy to win a case when the jury is only told a fraction of the story. Thanks to the appeals court, these court documents unsealed today reveal the real story. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, these court papers prove Hogan did not suffer $140 million in economic and emotional harm from a few seconds of a sex tape after he made a career of boasting about his sexual habits.”
David Houston, Bollea’s legal counsel, said, “Gawker is now releasing motions that were denied back in December. One has to wonder what their true motive may be because it isn’t relevant for any legitimate purpose.”