Hulk Hogan: Gawker disobeyed court order

Posted By Kristen Butler,   |   April 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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Hulk Hogan has made his next move in an ongoing battle with gossip blog Gawker over a sex tape featuring the semi-retired wrestler and Heather Clem, the wife of friend and radio personality Todd Alen Clem, better known as Bubba the Love Sponge.

Last week, a Florida judge granted Hogan's request for a temporary restraining order. Gawker was ordered to pull down the one-minute excerpt of a 30-minute sex tape, and take down all other excerpts, clips, photos and transcripts.

Gawker removed the sex tape, instead linking to another website that was hosting the video. But Gawker refused to remove a 1,400-word article on the subject of celebrity sex tapes, and Hogan's in particular.

"The Constitution does unambiguously accord us the right to publish true things about public figures," wrote Gawker editor John Cook.

Gawker has appealed the ruling, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and on Monday a Florida appeals court issued an emergency stay of the temporary injunction on the narrative description of the tape.

Now Hogan is filing a motion to hold Gawker in contempt for disobeying the judge's order.

"The Order prohibits 'posting, publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting' the footage," says the court filing. "Linking to the footage falls within this definition."

"Gawker Media argues in [the post] that it has the right to continue to publish the narrative description of Plaintiff’s private sexual activities because such discourse is protected by the First Amendment. Not only is this contention incorrect on the merits (Plaintiff established in his Motion for Temporary Injunction that Gawker Media’s post was unprotected expression), but it is well-established that even if the terms of an injunction are inconsistent with the First Amendment, a party has no right to disobey it but must challenge the injunction through legal channels."

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