Home / Gossip / Denton: Hogan views sex tape suit as ‘wrestling metaphor’

Denton: Hogan views sex tape suit as ‘wrestling metaphor’

Hulk Hogan sees his sex tape lawsuit as a WWE match instead of the critical free press issue that it is, says the man whose company now owes the wrestler $ 140 million.

“He’s looked at this whole thing through a wrestling metaphor — a smackdown,” Gawker Media founder Nick Denton told “Good Morning America” Thursday. “It’s a serious case.”

Denton was presumably referring to Hogan’s remarks during his visit to the ABC morning show a day earlier, when he posed the question, “If this was WrestleMania, he was in the ring with me, it was just me and him, wouldn’t it be fun?”

The editor also brushed off Hogan’s dramatic tale of coming face-to-face with his legal foe — who he called “the puppet master” — in a courthouse bathroom staredown.

Nick Denton called the sex tape lawsuit a matter of "publicity versus the free press."ABC

Nick Denton called the sex tape lawsuit a matter of “publicity versus the free press.”

“I was aware that our eyes met for a considerable amount of time,” Denton said.

A jury awarded the 62-year-old Hulkster $ 115 million in compensatory damages and $ 25 million in punitive damages in his case against Gawker, which he says ruined his life by posting a skin flick of him sleeping with the wife of his ex-best friend, shock jock Bubba (the Love Sponge) Clem.

Hogan’s legal team successfully argued last week that the gossip site had invaded the WWE great’s privacy by publishing the video — which he insists he didn’t know was being shot — in 2012.

But Denton on Thursday maintained that Hogan had known he was being recorded — and that a text from Clem unsealed in the case supported that argument.

“He knew he was being taped. They were best friends,” Denton said. “I just don’t think it’s credible for Hulk Hogan to pretend that he actually had no idea what was going on.”

The former wrestling champ even joked about the tape, he added, until Gawker got a hold of it.

Hulk Hogan discussed his legal victory on "The View" and "Good Morning America" Wednesday.The View

Hulk Hogan discussed his legal victory on “The View” and “Good Morning America” Wednesday.

“He didn’t like the story that we wrote,” the site’s founder said.

Denton went on to clarify that the company’s decision to publish the tape — which it did on grounds that Hogan had made his sex life a matter of public concern — was not a case of “privacy versus free press,” as many have dubbed it.

“I think it’s actually publicity versus the free press,” he said.

TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT; MANDATORY CREDITEve Edelheit/AP

Denton maintains that Hogan knew he was being recorded.

In an earlier “Good Morning America” interview, the six Florida jurors stood firmly by their verdict as “absolutely correct.”

“Even if he knew he was being recorded, there’s still no right to put that out there if he doesn’t want it put out,” said juror Kevin Kennedy.

Another juror, Robin Young, chided Denton for his news judgment.

“Don’t demean yourself by going for the vulgar and the lewd and the trashy,” she said. “Stick to newsworthy journalism — you undersand what that is.”

Gawker Media plans to appeal Friday’s ruling. In an essay earlier this week, Denton called the jury’s decision “extraordinary.”

With

mjagannathan@nydailynews.com

Tags:
gawker ,
hulk hogan ,
nick denton

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