On Wednesday, the second day in the week-long process of selecting a jury for Bollea's $100 million defamation trial against a New York-based media company, jurors were admonished to refrain from researching the case, or following news of its goings-on. But for many, there was little cause for concern — in interview after interview, jurors said they barely knew anything about Hogan, one of the area's few celebrities, and even less about the defendant, Gawker Media.
Of course, they were aware he was a famous wrestler. They had seen him in his electric red and yellow costume. Some had even idolized him when they were growing up.
But when they were questioned about the less savory aspects of the Hulkster's life — the messy divorce, the son who went to prison, or the sex tape at the center of the lawsuit — the details were a blur. READ MORE...
– Anna Phillips, Times Staff Writer
Whoever sits in the jury box will determine if Gawker violated Bollea's right to privacy when it published the video of the former professional wrestler having sex with his best friend's wife, which Bollea's attorneys say garnered 7 million views.
But attorneys will likely face several challenges, from Bollea's celebrity status to jurors' perceptions of sex, as they feud in a Pinellas courtroom to keep the six jurors, plus three alternates, that each side likes the most.
On the one hand, there's Gawker, a website that makes money by "peering in the virtual window of folks and putting private moments on display without permission," said Charles Rose, director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law. On the other, there's Hulk Hogan betraying his former best friend, Tampa radio DJ Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. READ MORE...
– Laura Morel, Times Staff Writer