Gawker refuses court order in Hogan sex tape suit
CLEARWATER, Fla. — Editors at the gossip website Gawker said Friday they’re not complying with a Florida court order to remove material related to a privacy lawsuit involving former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.
Pinellas County Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell issued an order Wednesday. It tells Gawker to remove a video of Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, having sex with the ex-wife of disc jockey Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, as well as a 1,400-word narrative and hundreds of user-submitted comments.
The site took down the video, but the narrative and comments remain.
Gawker’s attorney, Gregg Thomas, says the order infringes on the website’s First Amendment rights.
Hogan’s attorney, Charles J. Harder, told The Associated Press he’s filing a motion asking the judge to find Gawker in civil contempt of court and impose sanctions.
Hogan settled a similar lawsuit against Clem last year for an undisclosed amount. In both lawsuits, Hogan claimed that he had consensual sex with his then-best friend’s wife, Heather Clem, several years ago in the Clemses’ home, but he did not know he was being secretly recorded. The video was posted on Gawker, though it wasn’t clear who gave Gawker the video.
Bubba the Love Sponge Clem publicly apologized to Hogan, saying he’s convinced the ex-wrestler with the long blond hair was unaware he was being filmed. It’s not clear whether the men reconciled. The Clemses have since divorced.
It is illegal in Florida to record someone without their permission, but Hogan waited too long to file criminal charges.