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Hulk Hogan sex tape trial jurors to hear closing arguments

Published 17/03/2016

Hulk Hogan arrives in the courtroom (AP)
Hulk Hogan arrives in the courtroom (AP)

Jurors will hear closing arguments on Friday in former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media over a sex video, a Florida judge said.

Judge Pamela Campbell sent the jurors home for the day on Thursday while lawyers for Hogan, Gawker and media companies discussed evidence issues following lunch.

Earlier, lawyers for Gawker showed Hogan a promo video of him wearing underwear and parodying the Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball video.

They also played a video of a Hulk Hogan deposition in which Hogan discussed his wrestling persona, his true identity, branding and celebrity. They also asked him if he tried to "shape" any of the media interviews he did in the days after the sex video was posted, by asking media outlets to not discuss the video.

"I don't recall," Hogan said.

Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for 100 million US dollars for posting the video, contending it violated his privacy. It depicted the former wrestler having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, radio host Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. Both Hogan and the woman said they did not know they were being filmed.

Mr Clem exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and will not give evidence.

In 2012 Gawker posted a story and an edited version of the video, saying it was newsworthy. Gawker's editorial process has been an issue in the trial and jurors will grapple with themes of celebrities, privacy and media ethics.

On Wednesday, a Florida appellate court ordered that a number of sealed records be released in the case and Hogan's lawyers have filed motions to keep them sealed.

Lawyers for media companies, including The Associated Press, are filing counter motions to make the records public.

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From Belfast Telegraph