Hulk Hogan just won $115 million in his lawsuit against Gawker Media for posting his sex tape in 2012. A Florida jury ruled in Hogan's favor, deciding that his privacy had been invaded; additional damages will be awarded later. Gawker had argued that the sex tape was newsworthy, and therefore appropriate to publish.
"We feel very positive about the appeal."
This won't be the end of the court battle. Though Gawker lost this round, it's already preparing an appeal. And what happens next is a big deal. For one, Gawker's business is on the line depending on how high these damages go. But more broadly, the case could later set some sort of precedent about what is and is not newsworthy — an important distinction for journalists.
This first trial has been something of a circus, with Hogan's lawyers asking Gawker editors explain private jokes made at work and members of the jury asking the editor in chief of Jezebel whether she'd slept with her bosses. Hogan's lawyers tried to portray Gawker as a click-hungry tabloid, and compared the tape to revenge porn. Evidently, the jury agreed.
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton has already said that the company is ready to appeal. "We feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately," he said in a statement.