Earlier in the week, we noted that Tampa area media, having procured a new police report, had jumped on the story that Matt “Spiceboy” Loyd was the man behind the theft and leak of the Hulk Hogan sex videos. The local TV stations mostly covered the most basic of details: That Loyd was named as the suspect, prosecutors declined to charge him, and Bubba the Love Sponge (the videos came from his security cameras after he had given Hogan his blessing to sleep with his then-wife Heather Cole) was angry that the prosecutors were doing nothing.
What I did next was procure the entire 31 page police report from the Tampa Police Department. Since then, Bubba has released a version on his website, but it’s heavily edited and redacted, seemingly to remove the information he doesn’t want out. With that in mind, here are some of the key revelations in the report:
* This specific police investigation started separately from the Hogan videos. as in May of 2014, Loyd (using @Joshisinthecity, a now-deleted dummy/sockpuppet account) tweeted a photo of a stolen non-Hogan DVD to Bubba, who replied to attempt to bait him:
@Joshisinthecity thank u for the heads up. Follow me so we can discuss
— Bubba Clem (@BTLSRadio) May 30, 2014
* Loyd no longer had possession of the original Hogan DVDs because they were seized by the The DVD in a 2012 sting operation targeting his “sex tape broker,” oft-disciplined lawyer Keith Davidson. The remaining DVD, labelled with the name a non-celebrity friend of Bubba’s, showed Cole having sex with said friend. The friend did say know he was being recorded, while Cole told the TPD that Hogan did not. When the TPD asked Cole why she appeared to be positioning Hogan for the camera, she replied that it was “because that is what Bubba wanted” and “Bubba could be very controlling.”
* This explains why, to a point, the FBI had stonewalled Gawker in their attempts to get a copy of the FBI’s Hogan investigation. Gawker’s first Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request was filed on November 8, 2013 and rejected on privacy grounds. When they got the necessary waivers from Hogan and Cole via the lawsuit, the refiled on November 7, 2014. By the time the FBI responded on February 4, 2015, not only had the TPD investigation been ongoing for months, but they were also using the FBI file as evidence. That’s why law enforcement privilege was cited to block the release of the file but Gawker had statements stating they were not the target of an investigation: The crime being investigated had nothing to do with the leak to Gawker because Loyd didn’t make contact about the Hogan videos.
* The DVDs were taken from Bubba’s office, where he moved them during his divorce from Cole in October 2011. Why? “Clem transferred the DVD’s from his home to his workplace where he believed they would be more secure.” The DVDs were eventually moved when he moved to a new studio in December 2011 to January 2012. He didn’t know they were missing until March 2012, when a screenshot showed up online from one of the Hogan videos. “Clem immediately responded to the office/storage area and became aware that each of his DVD’s were now missing.”
* @Joshisinthcity’s tweet was eventually traced to Loyd’s workplace. He claimed that the DVD was a fake and, having known of the DVDs for years, forged Bubba’s handwriting on a new blank DVD to spook him. The handwriting in the photo was consistent with other burnt DVDs Bubba had written on that he provided to the TPD. At this point, Bubba told the TPD “that the FBI had conducted an investigation involving the Bollea DVDs and he thought that case was over.”
* The FBI eventually got approval for the TPD to see the Hogan case file. On January 20th of this year, the Tampa investigators watched the Hogan videos with the FBI agents assigned to the case and summarized them as follows:
Disc marked HOGAN 7/13/07 contained Heather Clem and Terry Bollea engaging in sex. Bollea does not look at the camera. The camera appears to be on a high ledge in the master bedroom behind a plant. There is no discussion about them being recorded.
The disc marked HOOTIE 7/3/07 showed the camera to be in the same location as the previously mentioned disc. Bollea and Heather are standinganext to the bed, Heather is topless and facing Bollea as Bubba walks into view and comments about a scratch she has on her back. Bubba then leaves the room. Bollea and Heather engage in sex.
The disc marked HOOTIE with no date shows that Bubba walks in after sex between Bollea and Heather. Bollea, Heather and Bubba have conversation. Bollea leaves. Bubba makes comment about tape being used for retirement. Bubba says he is going to get the tape and walks out. Tape ends.
* The FBI also provided the TPD with audio recordings taken during the investigation into “sex tape broker” Keith Davidson when he tried to sell the original DVDs to Hogan for Loyd via intermediaries. When Davidson negotiated with Hogan attorney David Houston over the phone as part of a sting operation, they started at $1 and $1 million respectively before settling on $300,000. $150,000 would be paid upfront with two other installments of $75,000 each at the nine and 16 month marks.
* Perhaps the most interesting portion of the 31 page report is the detailed summary of the final meeting with Davidson on December 14, 2012 that closed the sting operation. When Houston asked which video “has the issues,” Davidson is paraphrased as saying that “tape 2 talks about his son’s twin girlfriend” while “tape 3 talks about n word, Brooke dating black guy, etc.” Obviously, the tape 3 note refers to Hogan’s racist comments that got him fired by WWE. The other note marks the video Gawker got from Loyd as tape 2, because A.J. Daulerio wrote this in the article that was originally published alongside their “highlight reel” of the video:
But Hulk has to go meet his son Nick at midnight. Then Hulk tells a story about how Nick’s new girlfriend has a twin sister who called Hulk on the phone. Hulk reveals that the young woman inquired about his divorce and, if that’s true, she would like to be the first to go out with him.
It appears that, with that story having been out for over three years now and then n-word rant leaking in July, there is no other incriminating information on the other video, described here as “tape 1.” The audio of the racist comments getting out would be harmful since nobody has heard them, and obviously he doesn’t want anyone to see him having sex, but in terms of damaging information, it’s all out there.
* Davidson, for whatever reason, would only give Houston certain details out of earshot of Hogan. For example: “I don’t know if they were stolen and quite frankly I don’t want to know if they were stolen.” He also gave his word he would assist in having the clips removed from Gawker’s site, as they were still up at the time. While Davidson told Hogan and Houston his client knew the videos existed because he was shown them and Loyd said it was well-known that the videos existed, Bubba denies showing them to anyone at work.
*As outlined in the Tampa media coverage, Lori Burbridge, a friend of Loyd and his wife, Tasha Carrega, handled financial transactions to shield Loyd. Loyd went to TMZ when leaking stills To TheDirty failed to generate enough buzz. She told police that TMZ put Loyd in touch with Davidson, who bragged about handling similar cases when she questioned if what they were doing was legal. TMZ paid $8,500 for the videos, which they never published for legal reasons. TMZ’s Mike Walters had spoken to Hogan on the air on their syndicated TV show about having seen the videos.
* It appears that, while Loyd did contact Gawker under an assumed name, he was not the person who leaked one of the videos to Gawker. Davidson coached Loyd, Carrega, and Burbridge to say they were the Gawker leak to ensure the deal with Hogan went through.
It’s not clear at all why local prosecutors are not charging Loyd if the Tampa Police Department has so much evidence and is willing to name him as a suspect. Tomorrow, we’ll go over some additional details and try to analyze exactly what all of this means.