A federal judge has ruled that highlights (make that mind-searing, toe-curling lowlights) from Hulk Hogan's recently leaked sex tape can remain online - for now.
Saints preserve us.
The Hulkster, real name Terry Bollea, recently launched legal action against Gawker Media, which posted excerpts of the former pro wrestler cavorting and doing the deed with Heather Clem, the ex-wife of his onetime pal and radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem aka Todd Alan Clem.
In his filing against the gossip website last week, Hogan declared he is seeking a whopping US$100m (NZ$123m) in monetary damages, punitive damages, a temporary restraining order and a preliminary and permanent injunction which would force Gawker.com to remove the minute-and-a-half clip it published earlier this month.
Gawker posted an edited version of the grainy sex tape, filmed about six years ago, on October 4, claiming it received the footage on a burned DVD from an anonymous source who wanted no payment for it.
Hogan, who also filed a separate civil suit against the Clems, claims he didn't know he was being secretly recorded.
"Mr Hogan had a reasonable expectation of his privacy, just as all Americans have a reasonable expectation of their privacy in their bedrooms," the former WWE star's lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement to the Associated Press last week.
'SEVERE AND IRREPARABLE INJURY'
In the suit against Heather and Bubba, Hogan claims invasion of privacy, public disclosure of private facts, as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Hogan, 59, also claims the video caused "severe and irreparable injury which cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages".
According to E! Online, a federal judge has since denied the wrestling star's petition for a temporary restraining order against Gawker that would have forced the removal of the sex tape snippets from the website.
"Upon consideration, Plaintiff has failed to show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result before Defendants can be heard in opposition," US District Judge James Whittemore wrote in his ruling, according to the website.
Whittemore set a November 8 hearing on Hogan's request for an injunction, the website notes. Counsel for both sides will make their arguments at that stage.
'IT WAS AT A REALLY LOW POINT IN MY LIFE'
Appearing on the Today show earlier this month, the erstwhile Hogan Knows Best star dished that the saucy recording was made during a "low point" in his crumbling marriage to ex-wife Linda Hogan.
"First off, I had no idea there was a camera in the room. It was at a very, very low point. I'm not making excuses. I'm accountable. I was the guy. I was there. I made the choice," he told co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
"It was at a really low point in my life when I was in a previous marriage when things were bottomed out completely," said Hogan. "I was with some friends and I made a wrong choice. And now, all of a sudden, it surfaces over six years later, and it's just appalling. It's totally flipped my new life...upside down."
Turns out Hogan's not the only one feeling wronged.
A lawyer for Bubba last week claimed that his client is "a victim" in the scandal.
"I don't understand how you can sue a victim and I don't understand how you can sue your best friend," the lawyer told E! Online.
"I'm hopeful we never get served and can work together to find out [what happened with the tape]. I am convinced Bubba had nothing to do with it. And I don't believe Heather had anything to do with it. So let's find that party who has caused harm to everyone. That is our objective, our hope.
"The reality is that these guys shouldn't be fighting each other. They should be fighting the person who stole it, released it and those who broadcast it," he added. "I don't know what his objective is in suing Bubba."
News of the grainy tape's existence first surfaced last March when the big chief at adult-film purveyor Vivid Entertainment claimed he was approached with the tape by a third party, according to TMZ.
To be continued...
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