Semi-retired pro wrestler Hulk Hogan has won a legal victory in his efforts to squelch a 30-minute sex tape involving him and the wife of a disc jockey, with a judge issuing a temporary restraining order against Gawker.com which had posted a one-minute excerpt of the tape.
Florida Circuit Court Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell last Wednesday ordered that Gawker and all of its affiliate websites must pull all excerpts, clips, photos, and transcripts related to the sex video and return them to Hogan
, his attorney Charles Harder told the Hollywood Reporter.
Gawker editor John Cook responded to the judge's ruling in an online post, saying that a 1,400-word narrative of the video written by former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio would remain online.
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"The Constitution does unambiguously accord us the right to publish true things about public figures," wrote Cook. "The portion of the order compelling us to remove the entirety of Daulerio's post — his words, his speech — is grossly unconstitutional. We won't take it down."
Instead of the video clip on Gawker's website is the message: "Withheld by order of Hon. Pamela A.M. Campbell Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida."
Gawker says it plans to appeal the judge's ruling.
Hogan filed a $100 million lawsuit against Gawker last October, claiming the site invaded his privacy by publishing the excerpt.
Gawker cited freedom of speech as protected under the First Amendment as it defense for posting the clip, but the site eventually removed the clip.
The tape allegedly involved an extramarital affair between Hogan and the then-wife of disc jockey Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.
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At the time the tape was made, Hogan was married to Linda Hogan, who later divorced him. The divorce came a full year before the tape was made public online.
Hogan later sued Clem, claiming the video taping of the act was an invasion of his privacy. That lawsuit was settled last October.
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