Live Blog: Day 2 Of Hulk Hogan Testifying In Trial Of His Lawsuit Against Gawker

Hulk Hogan testifies in Gawker trial (Pool photo via Tampa Bay Times)
Hulk Hogan testifies in Gawker trial (Pool photo via Tampa Bay Times)

EDIT: Everything up to the lunch break is archived here while you can watch the live stream here.

We continue with Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea (and given the way he’s treating the two personas in his testimony, it’s probably best to keep calling him Bollea for now even if we’re used to calling him Hogan) on the stand being cross examined by Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan after they were interrupted by the end of the business day yesterday. Here’s a quick overview of what’s happened so far today and then we’ll get back into live coverage:

Bollea is continuing to go with the “That’s Hulk Hogan in-character” response to how he acted in interviews about the sex tape. In the TMZ interview with him, they called him Hulk, he was outside of his home, so he was Hulk Hogan. He compared the verbiage about his “rear end hanging out” to Ric Flair’s comedy spots where his trunks get pulled out. “I didn’t think having Hulk Hogan’s rear end hanging out was invasive of Terry Bollea’s privacy.” They admitted an email from Dixie Carter to Bollea where she was surprised by how jokey he was in his TMZ interview about the sex tape, saying it was “beneath him” and she was concerned that his personal lawyer, David Houston, was just trying to get face time on TV with him. She thought he should quell the story, but he didn’t listen, and upon Houston’s advice, he went on TV and kind of made it bigger in the process.

When stills of the video leaked in April 2012, after Bollea/Hogan figured out it was Bubba’s bedroom, Bubba told him Heather must have been responsible and Hogan believed him. Questioning now moving on to Howard Stern asking about how he could be embarrassed by the video given the way Heather talks about him on it. There were some technical difficulties and a break, then they returned. Bollea/Hogan on talking about the sex tape: “I was on an entertainment show and I had to be an entertainer, so I just kept going. […] I was joking about my penis, that’s what I was joking about,” But he went along with it. “The topic was sex and wrestling, I didn’t volunteer the sex topic, he did,”

Now, into live coverage…

10:42 a.m. ET They’re playing the earlier Howard Stern interview where Bollea as Hulk Hogan says that he would never sleep with Heather Cole/Heather Clem because of “man law” since Bubba Clem was his best friend. “On a character driven show, I didn’t want to talk about Terry Bollea and his sex life. […] There’s no reason to do that.”

10:44 a.m. ET “I had to talk to Howard about whatever he brought up.” Hulk Hogan can tell ridiculous lies, Terry Bollea is sitting there under oath. In that mode, is it OK to be dishonest? “In that mode, it’s entertainment.” Gawker clearly trying to establish that he’s a lawyer, Hogan clearly well-prepared. He was protecting his privacy as Terry Bollea. But Terry Bollea is never mentioned once, is he? Bollea/Hogan agrees, with Sullivan’s point being that Stern and others were not distinguishing between Hulk Hogan and Terry Bollea. Hogan’s memory is even worse than you’d expect, as he has no idea that the Gawker article and “highlight reel” video of the sex tape were posted concurrently.

10:53 a.m. ET “I didn’t have a problem with [TheDirty.com] publishing stills [from the sex tape].” Did not ask any media interviewers not to ask about the sex tape. Thought that was his publicist’s job and he wasn’t gonna do their job for them. Odd.

10:59 a.m. ET They’re going over the TMZ interview after the Gawker article/video came out, which is when Hogan found out for sure Bubba was involved. He got sick after Mike Walters told him during the interview that the video (actually one of three videos as Gawker had all of them and it wasn’t on the one sent to Gawker) that Bubba says after he leaves that he could retire off the video.

11:03 a.m. ET Bollea/Hogan thought he was going to have a heart attack. “Man up with this Bubba thing and it is what it is. [Now] I knew who he was,” so he was able to rationalize the situation and call himself down. It hit him HARD.

11:08 a.m. ET Bubba’s betrayal was one of the hardest things he ever had to deal with. Did he ever see TMZ’s copy of the video with Bubba’s admission? No. Did he ever ask TMZ to show it to him? No. With litigation inevitable, why talk to the media about all of this in such detail? “It was OK to talk about it. We were getting barraged with the media and trying to make it go away.” Trying and failing to get Gawker to take it down fueled the fire.

11:11 a.m. ET Bollea/Hogan got calls from Vivid Video, and they thought it was all a stunt he was in on. Was he concerned everyone thought it was “another wrestling angle where Hulk Hogan was trying to con us,” he kind of says yes. He never had a problem with the article, he says, it’s just the video. “Whatever they put up, I don’t even know.” You never had a problem with the article? “Well, I wasn’t happy about it.” But you included the article in your initial complaint. Bollea’s lawyer objects, Judge Campbell sustains it for some reason and won’t allow Sullivan to argue the objection. Well then.

11:20 a.m. ET Somewhat circular conversation about how his guard was down when Heather propositioned him because he was at an all-time low. When did he get his guard back up? He never did. He’s still at an all-time low? No. He thinks he’d give in to other women who propositioned him? No. But he never got his groove back as Hulk Hogan, it seems like he’s saying. We move on to video of the press conference from when he filed the lawsuit.

11:23 a.m. ET Was he concerned he’d draw attention to the story? No, he had to do something to “stop Gawker from what they were doing to me. […] I don’t know how you could increase the attention more than Gawker did.” He testified at deposition that there weren’t as many reporters there as at the O.J. Simpson trial. Umm…OK? Did he expect his press conference would draw that level of attention? “I did not know what to expect.” Shifting focus to “the privacy of Hulk Hogan.”

11:27 a.m. ET Sullivan read a quote from Bollea/Hogan’s deposition explaining the distinction between the privacy of Terry Bollea and Hulk hogan, which ended with the word “brother.” Now Bollea/Hogan testifying that he’s concerned about Hulk Hogan’s privacy but it’s kind of been given away, anyway, because he’s lost his anonymity. People have taken pictures of him in the bathroom or showering after a match. But nobody invades his private business in his home or a friend’s home.

11:30 a.m. ET If fans ask him about his private life, he answers in character as Hulk Hogan, especially since they don’t address him as Terry Bollea. “I never go down to Terry Bollea,” he said in his deposition. Now: “Not outside the house.” Everyone expects him to answer as Hulk Hogan.

11:33 a.m. ET Never sought medical or psychiatric treatment for his emotional distress. Now hashing out pro wrestling being worked as far as how “predetermined” is more accurate than “fake” due to the physicality. Oh my God, it looks like they’re getting him to talk about how he wasn’t sure if Andre the Giant would let him win…and now he’s asking what a “work” is. This is going to be something. “It’s like dancing with someone.”

11:35 a.m. ET “When a work goes well, it goes quite smoothly, right?” Can two good workers working together look quite real? Yes. Can the term “work” be used outside the wrestling world? Yes, however you want. Oh boy, you can see where this is going. Now, does he consider himself a celebrity? Yes.

11;42 a.m. ET Was he concerned how the “Hogan Knows Best” storylines about trouble in his marriage to Linda would affect public interest in and perception of his marriage? No, not really.

11:48 a.m. ET Didn’t have a problem with a reality show scene where he his pants down and they played fart noises? Not really though he wasn’t crazy about it. Now onto his second book. He doesn’t seem to understand that he got an author credit for his ghostwritten memoir. Now onto what he wrote about his affair with Christiane Plante from his daughter’s record company.

11:51 a.m. ET Sullivan read this from Hogan’s book: “Next thing I know, the two of us started kissing. Not to sound perverted or anything, but it was fantastic. Here I am in my fifties now, and this was a really attractive thirty-four-year-old woman, with dark hair and a curvaceous body. . . . It was such an emotional and physical release. We didn’t have sex that night, but it opened the door.” Talk about how much the affair was covered. Now more about how personal the book was and how he was OK with that.

11:55 a.m. ET Now going over his first book. Extra layer of changes on top of him and the ghostwriter because it was a WWE book. And now we move on to Hogan’s appearance on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show via telephone on October 20, 2006. Did Bubba call him Hootie? Yes, it was a joke because that was the name of Bubba’s dog.

11:57 a.m. ET The above happened.

12:01 p.m. And now the topic is Hogan saying on Bubba’s show that if people bought his daughter’s record, he’d respond to the question “How big is your penis?” and then explaining all of that in relation to his ring and shoe size. This is actually happening. Now he’s saying he’s talking about how he was talking about Hulk Hogan and not Terry Bollea. “Seriously?” Yes. Oh my God. Now the Hulk Hogan vs. Terry Bollea thing again. This whole discussion has to be seen and heard to be believed.

12:05 p.m. ET Now talking about Howard Stern asking Brooke Hogan/Bollea, Terry/Hulk’s daughter, about her sex life. Bollea/Hogan saying it was uncomfortable since they were asking about Brooke Bollea even though they were there as the Hogans…which feels like it contradicts his thoughts about himself.

12:08 p.m. ET More of the same, then an objection & sidebar when Sullivan asks what he thought of Stern saying he wanted to take Brooke’s virginity and what he meant when he responded by saying “Howard, she’s the right height.

https://twitter.com/BrandyZadrozny/status/707252563251478528

12:13 p.m. ET They’re still conferring with the judge.

12:19 p.m. ET Whatever they discussed, they broke for lunch when they were done. We’ll be back at 1:30 p.m. ET.

1:35 p.m. ET We’re back, but the jury isn’t…it appeared that Gawker’s lawyers were asking for guidance as to what was fair game with regards to the Brooke-related stuff.

1:41 p.m. ET Cross examination is done and now Hogan/Bollea’s lawyer is questioning him on re-direct to re-iterate the emotional toll of the video.

1:44 p.m. ET Hogan was mobbed by people asking about the sex tape leaving the courthouse yesterday. Physical and emotional toll of the video included trouble eating and sleeping. He was worried about talking to kids as Hulk Hogan because he felt like there was a cloud over everything.

1:48 p.m. ET Explains how going on Howard Stern opens up opportunities for other mainstream interviews, which can be tricky as a pro wrestler. Now back to the Howard Stern post-sex tape interview.

1:53 p.m. ET Did his book that discussed his affair include photos of the woman? No. Of Heather Clem? No. Naked photos? No. Him having sex? No. Now comparing his comedy semi-nude scene on Hogan Knows Best to a nude scene in a mainstream movie. Bollea/Hogan says he saw a movie with John Cena recently (“Trainwreck”) which had “John Cena on top of this comedian, Amy Schumacher, having sex with her in this movie.” Yes, “Amy Schumacher.”

1:55 p.m. ET Reiterating how TheDirty.com pulled the stills from the sex video after getting a cease and desist from him. How the mainstream interviews didn’t show anything.

1:57 p.m. ET Reiterates not consenting to the video or anything Gawker did. Re-direct is over, do the jurors have any questions? They do, and submit them in writing. I didn’t realize that was a thing?

2:00 p.m. ET Juror asked for the timeline of the still photos vs. the video. TheDirty.com posted the stills in April 2012, while Gawker’s edited video was posted in October 2012, but the judge answered that. And Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea has been excused.

That’s it for this live blog.