Privacy or free speech? Which will prevail?
On July 6, Hulk Hogan will take gossip site Gawker to court in Florida for publishing his sex tape on their website.
The 2006 video features the famed wrestler engaging in intercourse with Heather Clem, ex-wife of radio host and his friend “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem.
This case is significant as it’s the first time a celebrity who is taking legal action over a leaked sex tape will bring his or her case to a jury.
The athlete — real name Terry Gene Bollea — is asking for $100 million in damages, claiming he has suffered “injury, damage, loss, harm, anxiety, embarrassment, humiliation, shame and severe emotional distress.”
One of the 61-year-old’s lawyers — Charles Harder — believes releasing the tape violates his client’s right to privacy.
“He has the right to be naked in a private bedroom without the world being permitted to watch├óΓé¼┬ª The First Amendment does not allow cameras into private [bedrooms] when the subject is not aware of it and does not consent to it├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥as happened to Mr. Bollea. Gawker and Denton do not have the right to turn bedroom walls into windows.”
However, President and General Council for Gawker — Heather Dietrick — says the popular blog was simply reporting the news.
“Here is this tape of this guy having sex with another man’s wife, with his blessings. No judgment from us├óΓé¼┬ª Gawker doesn’t care what you do in regard to that. But people should be able to know and make their own decisions as to what is going on in the whole world.”
Dietrick believes their First Amendment right to free speech will sway the jury.
“I don’t think you have to be a First Amendment scholar to understand the importance of the story, whether or not it’s about a sex tape or some other piece of leaked info ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ it is important for a reporter to tell a real story in the face of misinformation out there.”
Regardless of the outcome, we just hope justice will be exercised.
[Image via WENN.]