In 2012 a sex tape involving Hulk Hogan and his friend's wife started appearing online. In October 2012 celebrity blog Gawker included a 101 second clip of the tape on its website. In 2015 Hogan sued Gawker in Florida state court alleging defamation, loss of privacy, and emotional damages. In March 2016 a jury returned a $140 million verdict in favor of Hogan. A portion of the verdict was awarded as punitive damages, or damages meant to civilly "punish" the offender for the conduct as well as to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
Gawker defended the suit and believes it has a journalistic right that deserves protection. Gawker found, Nick Denton, defends the websites use of the clip. Gawker has appealed the verdict and argues evidence was wrongly withheld during the trial and that the jury was not properly instructed on First Amendment issues regarding newsworthiness.
Hogan also made news in 2015 when another sex tape surfaced, brought to light by the National Enquirer and RadarOnline.com. In the tape Hogan is heard making a racial remark regarding his daughter's boyfriend. This prompted the WWE to terminate its contract with Hogan.