Jury selection begins Tuesday in former wrestling star Hulk Hogan’s case against Gawker.
Watch coverage of the trial beginning Tuesday
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is suing the website for publishing a sex video of him.
The FBI investigated after the video was leaked to the website.
Gawker filed a public records request for more information about that investigation. The judge in the case ordered it released, but then sealed the case’s record when that information was put into the civil suit’s public record.
That prompted several companies – including the Associated Press and Scripps Media, which owns ABC Action News – to ask the judge to unseal the records.
"There is a fine line that is really at issue here, that is the difference between what a public figure makes public and what a public figure has the right to keep private," explains Thomas M. Cooley Law School Professor Jeff Swartz to ABC Action News. "That is, how far does the public have the right to delve into a public figure's private life?"
Swartz is a former Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge and former prominent attorney. He says Gawker Media has filed several motions to try to stain Bollea's character and decrease the amount of damages, even if Gawker were to lose the case.
If Gawker were to lose the $100 million case, it could potentially put them out of business.
"This is what they do," explains Swartz. "They get their hands on private matters that is people’s private sex tapes and other things and they put them out there for whatever profit they can get for it. They feel for all intents and purposes -- an invasion on their business model."
"[Bollea] is claiming the fact that I talk about my sex life doesn’t mean you have the right to disclose what I do in the privacy of bedroom. That is, what I choose to let you know, I choose to let you know. What I don’t want you to know, you don’t have the right to know," adds Swartz.
Hulk Hogan "looking for another giant to slam"
HULK HOGAN had a sense of humor and a message to his fans as he walked into court in St. Pete this morning, taking on NYC-based media giant Gawker. Here's what's at stake for the two sides: http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pinellas/hulk-hogan-and-gawker-returned-to-court-for-lengthy-hearing
Adam Z. Winer
on Wednesday, January 13, 2016