Gawker employees, Hulk Hogan testify at sex-tape trial

On day two of the Hulk Hogan sex tape trial, the jury not only heard from Hogan, but some employees who worked at Gawker at the time the tape was posted.

Hogan is suing the celebrity gossip site Gawker for $100 million dollars for posting the video that Hogan claims was recorded without his knowledge.

Hogan, whose legal name is Terry Bollea, spoke about his two separate lives. He said the man testifying on the stand is Terry Bollea, the private citizen.

However, the man who bragged about his sex life in the media, and sometimes stretched the truth, was Hulk Hogan the entertainer. The problem is, at times, one persona would contradict the other.

Through cross-examination, Hogan was caught in a few inconsistent statements. One was whether he'd actually seen the secretly-recorded sex tape between he and the ex-wife of former best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge. He's always said 'no.' But, on shows like Howard Stern and TMZ, Hogan said the opposite.

"It got me so sick to my stomach, in my chest. I thought I was going to have a heart attack," Hogan said in a TV clip played in the courtroom.

He explained that any lying, any boasting about physical attributes was all part of the act.

"The person who is sitting here under oath, and I don't lie under oath, is Terry Bollea," Hogan said. "As the character, we can talk about the 'tripod,' we can talk about, like I said, I've body slammed elephants, I have surfed on tiger sharks... those are all lies, but that is Hulk Hogan saying, character-driven."

Hogan claimed after the tape was released he appeared on TV and radio shows as Hulk Hogan in an attempt to do damage control.

"I didn't want to talk about Terry Bollea and my experience on the radio," Hogan said. "There were stills out there, the media was attacking us and I was actually using this show to try to stop things from going forward. I had to talk to Howard about whatever he brought up."

Gawker's attorney, however, argued Hogan enjoyed the media attention. Gawker employees, past and present, testified about their roles receiving and publishing the edited video.

"You think it was a good thing that posted the video of Hulk Hogan having sex, correct?" asked an attorney.

"In the context of the story and the context we gave it, yes," said Emma Carmichael, who worked as managing editor at Gawker at the time.

Online chat threads between employees reveal anatomical jokes were made, even after Hogan sued.

Carmichael typed,

"Hello, brief editorial policy is do not talk about Hulk Hogan or his sex tape while our legal department processes his giant

(hard return)


When an attorney asked Gawker Executive Editor John Cook if he ever considered the emotional distress the video might cause Hogan, "The answer to that question is 'no,'" Cook said.

Hogan claims, since the video's release, he's struggled to recover.

"I'm not the same person I was before all this craziness happened," Hogan said.

Gawker has long maintained that Hogan talked openly and in great detail about his sex life, therefore, it was newsworthy, making this a First Amendment issue. The trial picks up Wednesday morning.