I’ll keep updating this as more news rolls in. Simply put, I feel almost euphoric right now. Until it actually happened, I had my doubts. I always hoped for the best, but this is even better than the best. What a day!

From Law Newz

Add Gawker to the list of opponents who have fallen before “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. The wrestling superstar, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was victorious in the trial over his sex tape that the site posted without his permission. The jury awarded Hogan a whopping $115 million in total damages — $55 million in economic injuries and $60 million for emotional distress. Punitive damages, which could be even a higher amount, are still to be determined. Hogan broke down in tears after the verdict was read.

This was a trial for the ages, with some really weird moments. We had Hogan discussing the blurred line between his wrestling character Hulk and Terry the person, including apparently different penis sizes. We also had Gawker founder Nick Denton delivering a tender reading of the site’s commentary on the sex tape.

Most important, however, was that a jury decided that when it comes to privacy, there are some things that should apply to everyone, no matter how famous they are. They believed that what two people do behind closed doors is not for some website to show the world, just because one of them is famous.

From CNN:

“Mr. Bollea is exceptionally happy. This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who’s been victimized by tabloid journalism,” his lawyer David Houston said outside the courtroom. Hogan stood quietly behind the lawyer, his sunglasses failing to concealed dried tears on his cheeks.

The jury must still consider whether to impose punitive damages next week. “We’re coming back Monday for the rest of it,” Houston said.
Gawker’s legal team appeared to have anticipated a costly verdict. Lawyers for the New York news site issued a statement shortly after the jury retired to begin deliberations. The statement mentioned the jury’s inability to consider a trove of recently unsealed documents related to the case. “It may be necessary for the appeals court to resolve this case,” the statement said.

Denton read from a prepared statement Friday evening that said, “Given key evidence and the most important witness were both improperly withheld from this jury, we all knew the appeals court will need to resolve the case. … That’s why we feel very positive about the appeal that we have already begun preparing, as we expect to win this case ultimately.”

The jury awarded Hogan $55 million for economic injuries and $60 million for emotional distress. The jury will reconvene next week to consider punitive damages on top of the $115 million already awarded.