19/03/2016 10:20 GMT

Hulk Hogan Awarded $115m In Damages In Gawker Sex Tape Lawsuit

The former WWF wrestler was secretly recorded having sex with his friend's wife.

American wrestler Hulk Hogan has been awarded $115m (£79m) in damages after a jury in Florida found that the Gawker website had violated his privacy after it published a sex tape of him.

The video was posted in October 2012 after Mr Hogan was secretly recorded having sex with his friend's now ex-wife, Heather Clem.

Pool via Getty Images
Hulk Hogan in court

Mr Hogan's legal team argued the New York-based website did not seek the wrestler’s permission to publish the video and that it had violated his privacy.

They also argued the video was not newsworthy, but lawyers for the website argued that the concept of freedom of the press was more important to uphold.

Hogan - real name Terry Bollea - had to take to the stand and give evidence at the court in St. Petersburg and divulge private details about his sex life.

Pool via Getty Images

The US star was one of the most popular professional wrestlers of the 1980s and 1990s and later starred in his own reality television show with his family.

Last year, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) cut all ties with the 62-year-old and terminated his contract after a transcript from the sex tape recording was leaked revealing him using the N-word when referring to his daughter Brooke Hogan's then-boyfriend.

Outside the courtroom, Hogan’s lawyer David Houston said:"This is not only his victory today, but also anyone else who's been victimised by tabloid journalism."

Gawker maintained that Mr Hogan's private life was newsworthy because he made it part of his public persona.

"He has consistently chosen to put his private life out there, for public consumption," Gawker's lawyer Michael Sullivan said during the trial.

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