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Hulk Hogan looks to 'reform' Gawker

Posted at 2:58 PM, Mar 21, 2016

Having already won from Gawker Media LLC $115 Million, wrestling star Hulk Hogan - whose real name is Terry Bollea - is now seeking punitive damages against the online-based tabloid-style news company.

The showdown will include the same players as the two-week long trial that concluded this past Friday, including the same 6-person jury, the same legal teams, and Bollea himself clad in his usual all-black courtroom outfit, head bandana included.

The punitive damages phase of the trial allows a victim to try to "reform" the defendant, or make sure they learn a lesson, and possibly even try to win money from the defendant for previous actions.

In this case, the phase is expected to begin and end on Monday.

Before the punitive phase of Bollea’s trial against Gawker, attorneys debated before Judge Pamela Campbell the amount a jury could seek in this phase including how much to consider Gawker’s ability to actually pay Bollea so much money.

There was also consideration about what to do with documents, previously sealed from the public and jury, which reveals the contents of an FBI investigation of the video leak and an extortion attempt of Bollea.

The documents include the following summary conclusion by the FBI: “Knew being taped – all sides,” “talked about w/3,” “not concealed,” “obvious camera in play – Hulk knew, Heather, etc.”

That conclusion runs counter to what the two people in the video - Terry Bollea and Heather Cole - knew about the existence of a tape, and calls into question Bollea’s true role in both the making of the tape, and therefore, also, the dissemination of the tape.

Gawker’s CEO, Nick Denton, pointed to that new information as the reason for his appeal: 

“Given key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case,” he said in the statement. “I want to thank our lawyers for their outstanding work and am confident that we would have prevailed at trial if we had been allowed to present the full case to the jury. That’s why we feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately.”

Bollea sued Gawker for $100 million for posting a video in 2012 of him having sex with his former best friend's wife. 

Hogan contended it was a violation of his privacy. 

Gawker's editors contended the video and an accompanying post was a newsworthy commentary on the ordinariness of celebrity sex videos.