WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan had been in a major courtroom battle with Gawker Media over the company releasing his sex tape to the world of which he was unknowingly taped. It was a major story a while back, but most had pretty much forgotten about it all. WWE even hired Hogan back on, which was strange seeing as the company had been against bringing him back for a while. Hogan is a major name and having him with the company was essentially a good move for the company in some ways.
When Hogan rightfully sued over the issue, it seemed like the two sides would just go their separate ways after a while. No one expected things to go anywhere, but things took a major turn when Gawker released a tape of Hulk Hogan talking negatively about black people. Some didn’t care and others were horrified. WWE even lost $50 million in stock the day it happened, you know, because Hogan was such a huge part of WWE at the time. Sarcasm people.
Due to this, WWE had no choice but to let Hogan go. However, the idea most had was that WWE would bring Hulk Hogan back in once everything settled down. Now it appears as if things have settled well for Hogan.
To some experts, Gawker lost the case after they released this tape of Hogan. This led to the court awarding Hulk Hogan with a hefty $115 million for his trouble. This was, of course, combined with various punishable things such as emotional distress and the actual filing.
That did not include punitive damages, which the court is now seeking. According to Ringside News, the court is meeting next week to decide on that. So along with the $115 million Hogan is now awarded, he could see a lot more. In fact, this is where Gawker releasing the racial tape of Hogan really did them in. Punitive damages are designed to punish people for intentional wrongdoing. Essentially, Gawker released the racial tape to hurt Hogan.
They may have felt the media world needed the sex tape out because it was related to a celebrity and whatever other defense they tried. However, Gawker truly messed up with they attempted to ruin the WWE Hall of Famer’s career. This is all taking place in Florida, which is a big problem for Gawker Media as the Florida Supreme Court tends to award people two to three times the compensatory damage amount. So punitive damages could end up giving Hulk Hogan around $345 million in total here. That would land him to $460 million when all is said and done.
That’s right. In total, Hulk Hogan could rack up half a billion over the whole Gawker Media ordeal. His sex tape, as well as the racial tape, may always float around the internet and he may have a lot of trouble getting back in good with the public. However, he won’t have to care when he has more than enough to live out the rest of his life as a very rich man.
It was assumed early on that if Gawker Media lost the case to Hulk Hogan that they would, in turn, go bankrupt and force the websites under their banner to go down. This is a major thing as they are the parent company to the very popular Deadspin, Lifehacker, and Kotaku websites. This, along with Gawker itself.
As of 2014, they were making $45 million in profit. That means that the court is forcing the media company to pay out triple what it is worth already and could go up even more before all is said and done. Gawker has claimed that they are going to appeal. However, many do not see them winning out in the end as they did purposely try to destroy Hogan’s career with the racial tape leak, and that alone will not get a judge to love them going in.
[Image via WWE]