A Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker Media, stemming from 2012.
The outcome comes after two weeks of testimony and hours of deliberation on Friday.
The jury found thatthat Hogan has suffered severe emotional distress in the last three years since Gawker published excerpts of a video, which he claimed was secretly recorded, of himself having sex his best friend's then-wife. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was the first to take the witness stand and testified that the publication of the sex tape has "turned my world upside down."
Gawker argues that its publication of the footage was protected by the First Amendment.
"I believe in total freedom and information transparency," said founder Nick Denton. "I'm an extremist when it comes to that."
Denton released a statement on Friday following the ruling.
"Given key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case," he said. "I want to thank our lawyers for their outstanding work and am confident that we would have prevailed at trial if we had been allowed to present the full case to the jury. That's why we feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately."
Hogan won $115 million -- $15 million more than he had sought -- and can still receive more in punitive damages.
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