As noted, Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million against Gawker Media on Friday, more than the $100 million that he had been asking for, as they found the media outlet violated Hogan’s privacy by posting a portion of the sex tape online.
Danny Cevallos published an article on CNN.com explaining the importance of this case:
“Denton’s testimony pretty much sums up this case. In fact, this entire lawsuit can be distilled into one issue: Whether the First Amendment prohibits holding a publisher liable for its speech depends in turn on whether that speech is of public or private concern. If a sex tape of Hulk Hogan is a matter of public concern — if it is “newsworthy” — then Gawker wins. If it’s a private concern, then victory goes to Hogan, or his private alter ego: Terry Bollea”
Gawker had argued that they were protected under the First Amendment and that Hogan’s celebrity status, including his public discussion of his sex life, made the tape newsworthy. Gawker indicated earlier today that they believe key evidence was kept out of the trial and indicated their intent to appeal.