It’s not often we hear about male celebrities’ sex tapes getting leaked, but Hulk Hogan is the rare exception.
After being exposed for the racist he is, the legendary wrestler was also exposed on a NSFW tape Gawker Media posted. In case you forgot, it was doubly scandalous because Hogan was having sex with his best friend’s then-wife in the footage.
As we all know, the court found in Hogan’s favor and the 62-year-old has been awarded $115 million. He’s now sharing his thoughts on it all and told PEOPLE about the verdict:
“I was relieved that people actually finally believe me. So many people thought I was making a sex tape to sell as entertainment.”
The site goes on to say that the large sum of money shocked him:
It was only after he left the courtroom, went upstairs and had a team meeting where “we were all hugging each other,” that he found out he had also been awarded $115 million after the jury found that Hogan had suffered “severe emotional distress” since the tape was released in 2012.
“I heard them say the number and I said, ‘What? What are the numbers?'” says Hogan, who was in disbelief.
Hulk Hogan reveals why he went after Gawker so heavily:
Money aside, Hogan – whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea – says he went forward with the lawsuit to “let people know what Gawker is all about, come what may and that means no matter what.”
“I think I accomplished that, whether I win or lose or get rewarded with some type of financial assistance or not,” he says. “At the end of the day, I accomplished my mission and that was to let people know what Gawker is doing and that they’re not legitimate journalists and this is not trying to destroy the First Amendment – we’re trying to protect the First Amendment.”
While some testimony he heard “chilled to the bone,” he prayed that the jury would understand the case and put themselves in his shoes.
“It was an invasion of privacy and it was just something I wanted people to know that this is not right,” he says. “It was never about trying to destroy – it was about trying to make things the way they were supposed to be.”
Gawker released a statement as well, saying:
“We’re disappointed the jury was unable to see key evidence and tear testimony from the most important witness,” it reads. “So it may be necessary for the appeals court to resolve this case. Hulk Hogan’s best friend Bubba the Love Sponge – who made the tape and offered up his wife in the first place – originally told his radio listeners that Hulk Hogan knew he was being taped. The jury was only able to hear a questionable version of events. Bubba should have been required to appear in court and explain what happened.”
The statement goes on to say that “there is still more to the story.”
“We expect the upcoming release of improperly sealed documents,” the statement continues, “evidence that the jury should have been able to see, will begin revealing the true facts that the jury deserved to know about during deliberations.”
You win some, you lose some.
SOURCE: PEOPLE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty