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Celebrity Gist: Hulk Hogan Suing For $100M Sex Tape Trial

Hulk Hogan has told a court in Florida he thought it was a joke when his former best friend Bubba Clem said his wife wanted to have sex with him.

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However, the radio presenter filmed it and the Gawker website published the resulting sex tape.

Now, the 62-year-old former professional wrestler is suing Gawker for $100m (N19B).

Lawyers for the longtime WWE champion claim he had the right to privacy in a private bedroom.

They are also claiming emotional distress, and say the video was filmed without his knowledge.

Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, said it began when Bubba told him on the phone that his wife Heather wanted to be intimate with him. Hogan says he did not take it seriously at first, but the couple  whom he said had an open marriage kept bringing it up. When he and Heather did eventually have sex, Hogan claims he felt something was wrong, and asked whether they were being taped. Hogan said Bubba denied it.

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The wrestler’s lawyer, Shane Vogt, told the court in St Petersburg, Florida, that Gawker had “crossed the line” when it posted the video. Mr Vogt said that 2.5 million people had viewed the clip over a six month period.

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Mr Vogt also claimed the New York-based website had invaded Hogan’s privacy for profit.

Gawker’s lawyer, Michael Berry, acknowledged the website had broadcast one minute and 41 seconds of the 30-minute video in 2012, including around nine seconds of sexual content. He said that Gawker did not know who had sent the video.

Mr Berry said that other sites had mentioned the video before Gawker published it. He added that Hogan had talked about the tape’s existence on national television and radio shows. Mr Berry said the company had not made any money directly from the video, because no advertising had been attached to it. Another lawyer acting for Gawker said it would appeal an unfavourable verdict, but a defeat could put it out of business.

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