GAWKER SWERVE: Hogan Fired From WWE After Enquirer Drops "N-Word" Bonanza (UPDATE)

GAWKER SWERVE: Hogan Fired From WWE After Enquirer Drops “N-Word” Bonanza (UPDATE)

Well, there is cetainly never a dull day in GamerGate or in the Hulk Hogan v. Gawker proceedings. Overnight, Hogan was scrubbed from WWE’s website, including from the Tough Enough section. In case you didn’t know, Tough Enough is a reality show that is currently airing on USA Network. Hogan is one of the judges. Something is definitely afoot here, and the rumor mill is swirling. First, let’s look at what Gawker chief Nick Denton said last week concerning the tapes ultimately handed over by the FBI:

But Denton, never one to miss an opportunity to trumpet a story, promised the case’s next phase will lead to its juiciest revelations.

“There will be a third act which we believe will center on the real story: the additional recordings held by the FBI, the information in them that is Hulk Hogan’s real secret, and irregularities in the recordings which indicate some sort of cover-up,” Denton wrote in a recent blog post.

“In the way of so many news stories, the deeper you go, the more interesting it gets.”

Here’s a story from last month about how Gawker got access to the tapes:

Gawker won its lawsuit against the F.B.I. on Wednesday when a federal judge in Florida ordered the bureau and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys to give the media company evidence related to an F.B.I. investigation into Hulk Hogan’s sex tape…

In late 2012, Gawker anonymously received a DVD of the sex tape, then edited the video into a roughly 100-second “highlights reel,” and published that along with a long commentary on sex tapes. Hogan subsequently sued Gawker in civil court for invasion of privacy.

At roughly the same time, according to court documents, a Los Angeles lawyer had obtained the sex tape and was trying to sell it. Hogan’s lawyer David Houston contacted the F.B.I., which launched a criminal investigation into the creation and attempted sale of the video. The U.S. Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to prosecute anyone, but the F.B.I. dug up a great deal of evidence related to Hogan’s sex tape in the course of that investigation.

In November 2013, Gawker filed a FOIA request with the F.B.I. for this evidence, hoping to use it as part of its defense against Hogan’s lawsuit…

The F.B.I. denied the request, on the grounds that releasing it would infringe on Hogan and Heather Clem’s privacy. So Gawker asked Hogan and Clem to sign authorizations waiving their privacy rights. They refused. Gawker argued that it needed the F.B.I.’s evidence as part of its legal defense and asked the court to force Hogan and Clem to waive their rights to privacy. Judge Pamela Campbell, who is presiding over Hogan’s case against Gawker, ordered that Hogan and Clem sign the privacy waivers.

Now armed with the privacy waivers, Gawker went back to the F.B.I. in November 2014 and filed another FOIA request for the evidence. This FOIA request was more detailed than the first and asked for both documents and video footage. According to the request, Gawker and Hogan had agreed that while documents could be released directly to Gawker, any video footage related to the investigation must be placed in a sealed envelope and given to a special magistrate who was overseeing the discovery phase of Hogan’s suit against Gawker. 

In January 2015, the F.B.I. replied and said that it found 1,168 documents and two CDs of video material that were potentially responsive to the records request, but that it would not be releasing them since they were related to an ongoing investigation and therefore exempt from FOIA. Gawker also FOIA’d the the U.S. Attorney’s Office (“EOUSA”), which ignored its request.

Gawker appealed the F.B.I.’s decision not to release the evidence, arguing that the investigation had already closed. As part of its appeal, Gawker cited correspondence between the F.B.I. and Hogan’s lawyer Houston about the end of the investigation. On Tuesday, the New York Observer published part of this correspondence—a 2013 letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to Houston detailing some of the evidence the F.B.I. had found during the course of the investigation. The government denied Gawker’s appeal, so Gawker sued both the F.B.I. and the EOUSA in federal court to force them to release the documents.

That is the case that the media company won on Wednesday, when Judge Susan Bucklew of Florida’s Middle District ordered that the F.B.I. and the EOUSA turn over to Gawker all of the documents (and give the two CDs to the special magistrate) by Friday…

There’s a tape circulating this morning where Hogan does use the “n-word,” but it is quite mild. He’s discussing a famous flub by WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, and makes jokes about rappers Lil’ Wayne and The Game calling him by the word. It’s all VERY mild, and I have a very hard time believing this is why WWE has apparently cut ties. For one reason, this tape has been public for years. That didn’t stop The Daily Beast from running with this angle. Here’e the video. You can judge for yourselves:

They do note a couple interesting points, though:

Other sources, however, claim that the controversial racist audio that got Hogan scrubbed is in addition to the radio interview, and comes from a legal deposition in the ongoing Gawker case. The WWE has not yet responded to requests for comment, and has yet to officially confirm the reason for erasing Hogan from their websites.

Of course, it would be a bit hypocritical for the WWE to be offended by Hulk Hogan’s boneheaded comments when you consider that its CEO, Vince McMahon, once called wrestler John Cena the N-word right in front of Booker T, who then turned to his girlfriend and said, “Tell me he did not just say that.”

It has to be bad. Personally, I don’t care. I’ll support Hogan until the bitter end, cause that’s how big of a mark I am for the guy. To me it’s not what he said, but the lengths that Gawker will go to shred this man’s life. If I had to bet, I would say they leaked this shit to an outlet like The National Enquirer, which is one of the major rumors going on at this point. We all should have known that Nick Denton was never gonna go down without using every last tool in his slimebox.

Here’s the only comment Hogan himself has made so far, as well as a report from PWTorch, one of the oldest dirt sheets in existence:

More here:


UPDATE: CNN commentator with more, seems to be in line with my thoughts as well, if true…

UPDATE II: The leak has hit, and it’s not pretty

Hulk Hogan has been captured on tape spewing foul-mouthed racial slurs – including the N-word.

In a shocking world exclusive, The National ENQUIRER and – in a joint investigation – has learned that sordid pillow talk caught on an unauthorized sex tape includes a revolting conversation in which the pro wrestling icon unleashed a filthy bigoted attack, littered with the N-word and other disgusting racial insults.

The star of the WWE – whose real name is Terry Bollea – directed his vulgar and prejudiced hatred at his daughter Brooke, who he accused of sleeping with a black man.

Using language so hate-filled and vile it would shock even his most ardent fans, Hulk brazenly blustered to Heather Clem – the wife of his former pal Bubba “The Love Sponge,” with whom he was covertly filmed having sex with in 2012 – that he was an unabashed “racist.”

“I guess we’re all a little racist,” he crowed on the tape, multiple sources have confirmed exclusively to The ENQUIRER.

Despite his TV image as a born-again Christian, the tapes prove that Hulk is a very different man off camera!

In a startling exchange, the 61-year-old told Clem – who he sued for invasion of privacy after their XXX tape was leaked to a website – about his frustrations with blonde bombshell Brooke, 27.

“She is making some real bad decisions now,” Hulk said, sources tell us. “My daughter Brooke jumped sides on me. I spent $2-3 million on her music career, I’ve done everything like a jackass for her.”

The bitter bodybuilder continued, “The one option Brooke had, Brooke’s career besides me, is [to] sell beach records.”

At that point on the tape, the former “Hogan Knows Best” star bemoaned how a “black billionaire guy” had offered to fund her music career.

He also attempts to use bizarre, twisted logic in an attempt to justify his bigotry at the man.

“I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,” Hulk raved, the sources add.

“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.”

Then, in a tirade to rival the racism embarrassments suffered by Mel Gibson and “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” Hulk unloaded even more hatred!

According to sources, he said: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!

“I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.”

Radar and The ENQUIRER has learned explosive transcripts of the loathsome conversation have been filed in a Florida court, under seal, in a bid to prevent them from being publicly released.

MORE: WWE have officially cut ties…

UPDATE II: Hogan has responded to People Magazine

“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” Hogan said in a statement exclusively to PEOPLE. The transcript featuring that conversation was published online by the National Enquirer.

“This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise,” Hogan told PEOPLE. “I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”

Gawker also joins the pile on. Shocking, I know.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • Mark Samenfink

    I will be irrationally angry if this were to in some way effect the trial, but I honestly doubt it will.

  • ☆ Cyborgwolf ☆

    I stand with Hogan.

  • Tanooki

    I must be missing something here. in the radio interview, every time he says nigga, he’s QUOTING A BLACK GUY THAT CALLED HIM NIGGA.
    that is in no way a ‘racist rant’

    • That why I think the real leak has yet to come. I’m not buying that tape as the reason he’s been scrubbed.

  • Hawk Hopper

    If this “racist” rant exists, I doubt it will be allowed to be shown in court for the Hogan vs. Gawker trail. It has nothing to do with that case. Gawker may want to get this “racist” rant out to the public before the trail so that it would be hard for Hogan’s lawyers to get jurors that are sympathetic to Hogan (if jurors are not chosen yet, which I don’t know.)*

    Or Gawker is trying to hype a bunch of nothing for clicks. This is probably more likely.

    NOTE: This is all speculation from someone who isn’t a lawyer.

    • Yes, I agree. This is for public consumption and possibly to taint the jury pool down there in Florida. Gawker themselves have kept their hands clean, but I’m almost certain this came from their team somehow.

      • d0x360

        It definitely did. It’s likely they knew exactly what was on the tape they just didn’t have access to it. So they filed lawsuit after lawsuit chasing it down then when they finally won its put up for the world to see.

        Everyone will heat about it they will hate Hogan and the jury pool will be tainted. I doubt very much Terry bolea hates black people. It looks like he was really damn upset by actions his daughter took after he spent years and alot of money to help her out and his anger caused him to say some truly stupid shit.

  • shinningprodigy

    I don’t like this one bit. Gawker has found something and is probably gonna use this as leverage to get the case dismissed in their favor. I can only hope that whatever it is it backfires and makes Denton look like a fool.

    As far as WWE is concerned they’ve become too PG in the last few years that it wouldn’t be surprising that the “racist” rant alone would make them want to distance themselves from Hogan. But I’m inclined to agree with you on this one Ralph. Gawker has to have found something.

  • Aj Retro

    So, Hogan used the n-word one time, some time ago. Obviously it’s he deserved having the sex tape leaked. #SJWLogic

    • JasonC5

      Remember what happened to Paula Deen. She used that word decades ago and it bit her in the ass last year.

      • I’m not familiar with the Paula Deen case, but hopefully, the world is a different place than what it was last year. Ever since GamerGate erupted, it seems more and more people have been coming out to say that they’re fucking tired of all this social justice PC bullshit. With any luck, there may now be even slightly more of a tolerance for the word “nigger”, especially since it’s just a word (a commonly-used word, no less, particularly given the prominence of rap culture and general mentions of black history) and that preventing certain people from using it on account of “racism” is in fact racist in itself.

        • David Fitzsimmons

          son, I got bad news for you if you think things are different from last year. Especially considering the fact I can no longer watch Dukes of Hazard on TV

          • Aj Retro

            Yup, if anything people are now more hypersensitive.

      • Aj Retro

        Yup. She said it something like 28 years ago. If you’re found to EVER have used a forbidden word at any point in history, SJWs will end you.

  • Lost Question

    anyone else think gawker is throwing shit at the wall in a attempt to get a quiet settlement cause they know that if they lose in court they might have to contemplate closing up shop.

  • Ryan Arko

    Can’t stand by Hogan the man or the character. But that’s irrelevant to the Gawker case. Gawker will lose with or without my support of Hogan.

  • Weird, this is what everyone’s up in arms about? Might as well scrub out the entire lineup of WWE, since every single one of them is as guilty of one form of offense or another, even more so than Hulk Hogan.

    Then again, there is the rumor that the “smoking gun” is a clip of Hogan ranting about The Rock using racist epithets. Which, unless I’m missing something here, is typical heel playbook.

  • Jaker_K17

    While this stuff being released for Hogan doesn’t look good, it shouldn’t really affect the Gawker case. First off it’s irrelevant and secondly it doesn’t change the fact that they violated his privacy. Denton knows he’s fucked, so he’s striking out to try to bring Hogan down with him.

    And now that this is out there, I imagine it’s only gonna piss him off more.

    • Hogan will be even more determined now, I’m sure. Denton might be hoping that he can get him to settle now that his WWE money is gone, idk.

  • GuitarAnthony

    More & more pissed. Why the fuck does Michael Hayes still have a job & hasn’t been fired & Benoited (erased from existence) after what he said about Mark Henry then? Or HHH for what he said about Del Rio & Ricardo? Yeah, Hunter, I know. He’s in the family. He’s not out until they catch him with his cock up a NXT girl’s ass.

  • Mr Snow

    Sure am tired of people telling me “nigger” is racist. When a term is used so much in popular culture it is no longer racist, it is a common word. And the whole “only black people can say it”, no, sorry that’s not how a language works.

    It’s either racist for everyone or racist for no one.

    And I side with Louis CK, don’t say “N-word” just say nigger. When you say “n-word” you’ve just made me say nigger in my brain, so just say nigger.

    • angry foodie

      Context is everything. The word remains a racial slur, and Hogan wasn’t fucking around when he used it in the context of a racial slur. He said he knew it was racist when he said it. The word can be used in non-racist context (such as the old interview), but in the context of the pillow talk with Clem, you can’t deny it was racist.

      Now, this was 7 or 8 years ago, but this is really bad.

  • LegendofKafei

    Ok, so he’s racist, how does that mean Gawker had the right to leak his sex tape? Oh yeah, it doesn’t.

  • Angus66

    I can’t help but wonder if this ploy somehow relates to Gawker “reset” and/or name change.

    Maybe to prevent Denton from losing EVERYTHING

    Some coincidence that Gawker is trying to “wipe the slate clean” on Monday given the HH information that is out now…

  • Phil_McG

    So he’s apologising for saying something racist during a private conversation in bed?


    It won’t stop the Offended Police from being Offended, even though it’s none of anybody’s business what a grown man says in his own bedroom.

  • ElderWolf

    The public is fickle and easily distracted, that’s why the court of public opinion is unofficially the only thing that matters. It doesn’t really matter (metaphorically) if Bill Cosby drugged and raped women or Jared from Subway had kiddie porn, because even if they’ve been found clean, their careers are still ruined because people will see them as sleaze balls. Paula Deen used the N-word and has lost nearly everything, which unfortunately will probably be an outlook for Hogan’s future. I have to agree with you Ralph. Isn’t it odd that Gawker is going to hell, Hogan’s looking to take every dime and shut them down and suddenly this massive career ending smear with the power to sway public opinion magically leaks?

  • shinningprodigy

    *update from my initial comment.*
    Are you fucking kidding me WWE? That is the reason you’re going with? They terminated Hogan outright, going as far to remove all mention of him on their website including on their store website (asked my brother about this and he stated his merchandise was there only this past week). [They did this same thing with Chris Benoit.]

    And why this upsets me is that there was an instance where a worker (a non wrestler) made a racist joke about Alberto del Rio and del Rio was fired for standing up to him and defending himself. This is the same company that promotes anti bullying campaigns. What a load of *BULLSHIT*!!!!
    16:00 mark if your are interested. I can’t believe this bullshit. It makes me upset this is how WWE responds.

  • Clark

    I’m not sure that saying nigger in the privacy of your own home counters Gawker’s actions in any way shape or form. It’s not illegal to say nigger to someone on the phone. If this is all Gawker has in countering the lawsuit then they’re fucked. They may have ruined another person’s career, but they’re still fucked. I don’t know if Gawker knows this, but public smearing of your opponent doesn’t magically make things better for your situation.

    • Fatherless

      Smearing your opponent intimates the next one.

  • Dave The Sandman

    Standard US court politiking. Slime your opposition as much as you can in an attempt to have the jury look down on him or her.
    Incredible the depths Gawker will plumb to defend themselves, and all the more reason they must burn.

  • Botiemaster

    How convenient the timing of this is, Gawker. I’m amazed your butt buddies are spinning this like it’s the scandal of the century(NOTE: not amazed) Gosh, I wonder how they came across this information.

  • Sheba

    The timing is quite convenient if you ask me.

  • Knightwing19

    His comments are terrible but I don’t see how this changes his case against Gawker?

  • LongLiveGamerGate

    Well after the update I understand why they cut ties with him and I support it.
    However it has nothing to do with the case.

  • LePatriote1980

    Shameful that he was erased from WWE… Just like in the Soviet purges. When a Soviet official got purged, he was erased from pictures and never mentioned again. The fact that they do this to Hulk Hogan, one of their greatest star ever, is insulting. He didn’t even commit any crime.

  • angry foodie

    With all the info in, it is clear that WWE has chosen to “Benoit” Hogan.

    It looks bad for the Hulkster, but full disclosure, I was never a fan of Hogan.

    I got into wrestling with WCW-NJPW cross promotion, Cactus Jack, Vader, and that generation that didn’t draw a dime. Was a huge Steve Austin fan from the beginning and only really got back into WWF with Bret Hart’s run.

    So coming from a kid that would have booed Hulk Hogan if he actually did house shows in the late 80s, I don’t care that he is disgraced.

    With that said, it’s too bad he’s gonna be working from the bottom against Gawker. Fuck Gawker still.

  • Random Marine

    Saw a tweet from Razorfist (A youtuber) about the issue…Sums up all that is wrong with the media nowadays…

  • Dawn Blast

    If Hulk wins, he Better create his own wrestling federation