Hulk Hogan Celebrates Gawker Court Case Win With a Wrestling Meme of Himself
By Antoinette Bueno
Well played, Hulk Hogan.
After Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was awarded a stunning $115 million in damages from Gawker Media on Friday after filing a suit three years ago against the site after they published a portion of a sex tape featuring the pro wrestler -- he celebrated with a wrestling meme on Tuesday.
"Thank you God, I am grateful, 'I AM THAT I AM,'" Hogan tweeted alongside a Photoshopped picture of himself body slamming the Gawker logo in a wrestling ring. "Only love HH."
And even more good news for Hogan -- a Florida jury awarded him more than $25 million in punitive damages on Monday, in addition to the $115 million he was already awarded.
Hogan's lawsuit requested damages from Gawker for emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in 2006 when, following a divorce from his wife Linda, Hogan had sex with Heather Cole, the wife of his then-best friend, radio personality Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. Hogan testified that the sexual encounter was captured on film without his knowledge.
"We are extremely happy with the verdict and Mr. Bollea feels vindicated," Hogan's legal team said in a statement to ET. "Our victory will also deter others from victimizing innocent people. This verdict now requires those organizations to respect privacy and if not, pay the price for failing to do so."
However, Gawker -- who argued that they had the right to publish the video because Hogan had lost any prospect of privacy after openly discussing his sex life during media appearances, and that the tape was newsworthy -- said they will appeal the decision.
"Soon after Hulk Hogan brought his original lawsuits in 2012, three state appeals court judges and a federal judge repeatedly ruled that Gawker's post was newsworthy under the First Amendment," Heather Dietrick, President & General Counsel of Gawker Media, said in a statement to ET. "We expect that to happen again -- particularly because the jury was prohibited from knowing about these court rulings in favor of Gawker, prohibited from seeing critical evidence gathered by the FBI, and prohibited from hearing from the most important witness, Bubba Clem."
"There is so much this jury deserved to know and, fortunately, that the appeals court does indeed know,” Deitrick continued. "So we are confident we will win this case ultimately based on not only on the law but also on the truth."
Hogan tweeted about his court victory on Friday.
"Told ya I was gonna slam another giant," the 62-year-old wrestler wrote. "Thank you God for justice, only love 4Life."