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Hulk Hogan awarded $25 million in punitive damages in Gawker trial

By Shawn Price   |   March 22, 2016 at 12:33 AM
| License Photo

TAMPA, Fla., March 21 (UPI) -- A Florida jury awarded Hulk Hogan $25 million in punitive damages Monday against Gawker Media. The award comes two days after they awarded him $115 million for compensatory damages for the posting of Hogan's sex tape.

The punitive damages decision comes at the close of a two-week trial in which Hogan was awarded a total of $140.1 million after proving his claims that Gawker's Oct. 2012 posting of the video was an invasion of his privacy, violated his publicity rights and inflicted great emotional distress.

Gawker is required to pay $15 million, Gawker owner Nick Denton is to pay $10 million and $100,000 will come from former Gawker editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio.

The high amount of the award follows the judge's instruction that it should send a message to Gawker and similar publications about to handle such stories, yet not be so much that it would singlehandedly put Gawker out of business.

Gawker's defense was the posting was protected by the First Amendment in a newsworthy story. But Hogan's right to privacy outweighed their argument.

Gawker Media owns Gawker.com, Gizmodo.com, and other publications.

"There is so much this jury deserved to know and, fortunately, that the appeals court does indeed know," Heather Dietrick, Gawker's president and general counsel said in a statement. "So we are confident we will win this case ultimately based on not only on the law but also on the truth."

Jurors deliberated for about three hours on Monday before awarding Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea.

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