Hulk Hogan was “overwhelmed” to be handed a $140 million (Sh14.2 billion) pay out after his sex tape was posted online.
The 62-year-old professional wrestler received $115 million in a civil case against Gawker and a further $25 million in punitive damages from the website after they published footage of the star having sex with his then-friend’s wife Heather Clem.
Of the ruling, he said: “I tried to not snort again, just … water just came pouring out of my eyes. I just started shaking. I couldn’t hear anything except the judge going, ‘Yes’ to that or ‘Yes’ to this or ‘Yes’ for damages. I don’t remember what they said.
“But it was just so overwhelming when I knew that we had won and people believed me. It was just – gosh, it was a moment. It was a moment.”
And Hulk – whose real name is Terry Bollea – spoke of the tumultuous journey to success in the courtroom.
He told Good Morning America: “[Gawker] was hoping that, financially, I wouldn’t be able to stay in the game with them, and I’d quit or tap out or something. I felt like I had this monster on my shoulders no matter where I went.”
Meanwhile, it was previously revealed Gawker intend to appeal the court’s decision.
A statement made by Heather Dietrick, Gawker’s president and general counsel, says: “Soon after Hulk Hogan brought his original lawsuits in 2012, three state appeals court judges and a federal judge repeatedly ruled that Gawker’s post was newsworthy under the First Amendment …
“There is so much this jury deserved to know and, fortunately, that the appeals court does indeed know. So we are confident we will win this case ultimately based on not only on the law but also on the truth.”