Juror: Hogan "was very human" in sex tape

Posted at 10:54 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 00:31:20-04

A juror for Terry Bollea, more commonly known by his wrestling name, Hulk Hogan, said she didn’t believe that Hogan knew he was being recorded and Gawker trampled on the first amendment and Hogan’s privacy when they published the video online.

Salina Stevens talked outside the Pinellas County Courthouse after the punitive phase of the trial ended.  

On Friday, the jury had already awarded Hogan $115 million for emotional and economic distress.

“We are not naive,” Salina Stevens, one of the jurors said.  “We are talking about a lot of money, and people who did not think that they did anything wrong.  It took a lot of discussion.   There is no formula for this, you just kind of have to pull numbers and get an idea of what each person is making and do a percentage of that.”

On Monday, jurors awarded $25 million in punitive damages.   Hitting Gawker Media with a $15 million judgment and its owner, Nick Denton, with $10 million.

It also assessed $100,000 against A.J. Daulerio, the Gawker editor who decided to post the edited sex video and wrote the post that accompanied it.

Stevens said Gawker violated Hogan’s privacy and used the First Amendment to do it.  

Gawker’s attorney’s claimed Hogan knew the entire time he was being filmed for publicity and it was “newsworthy.”

Stevens disagreed.

“When we actually viewed the video that changed the game.  I believe his privacy was violated and that's not OK,” Stevens said.  “I just feel like, if he knew he was being videotaped he would not have spoken about the things he spoke about.  The conversation that was going on between him and the woman in the video, it was very human.  And if you are going to be videoed you would not be talking like that if you know.”

Michael Sullivan, representing Gawker, said the New York Media company has "heard your judgment and we take it very seriously."

The $115 million judgment "is punishment enough" and "is already far beyond their means.”

Hogan made a quick statement, signed a few autographs and walked to his car.

“I feel great.  I am really happy about everything that's happened,” Hogan said.  “And, I think we made history today.  We protected a lot of people from, maybe, going through what I went through.  So, we are very excited, very happy.”

"The amount of that verdict could already be debilitating for Gawker Media," Sullivan said.

"Your verdict will send a chill down the spine of writers, producers, and publishers," he added.

Despite the jury's decision on punitive damages, it's clear the case isn't over. Gawker has already said it would appeal.