Hulk Hogan is calling Gawker back to the courtroom. The pro-wrestling legend has filed another lawsuit on Monday, accusing the online gossip website of leaking the now infamous audio tapes that allegedly captured Hogan using multiple racial slurs about his daughter’s boyfriend.
According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The New York Post, Hogan claims Gawker violated a court order by slipping a transcript of the racist audio recordings to the National Enquirer. The lawsuit further alleges that the National Enquirer then published a story in July about the racist tapes that “Gawker had been threatening to release publicly for months.”
The Post further explains:
Just as the Enquirer posted the damaging transcript online, Gawker CEO Nick Denton wrote a piece on his blog predicting that Hogan’s “real secret” would soon be revealed, the suit says.
Minutes later, Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio tweeted to Hogan “XOXOXO” with a link to the Enquirer posting that included the confidential transcript, according to court papers.
Hogan immediately apologized once the audio tapes surfaced last summer, but the damage was done. The WWE fired Hogan immediately, scrubbing the pro-wrestling icon from all WWE platforms, including its extensive online archives on the WWE Network. Hogan was also immediately replaced as a judge on the WWE show Tough Enough.
According to the new lawsuit, Hogan’s “income was cut off, his legacy in entertainment was severely damaged (if not completely destroyed), and his global brand was forever tarnished.”
According to The Post, Hogan accuses a Florida radio DJ named Mike “Cowhead” Calta of sending at least one of his secretly recorded sex tapes to Gawker.
This latest lawsuit does not specify the amount of damages.
Law enforcement authorities are aware of the allegations against Calta, however, authorities have decided against pursuing criminal charges against any individuals alleged to be involved in the Hogan tapes leaks.
Earlier this year, Hogan was awarded a whopping $140 million verdict against Gawker for invasion of privacy after the website published a portion of secretly recorded sex tape involving Hogan and another woman. Gawker is in the process now of appealing that verdict. The website also denied that it leaked the sealed transcript to the Enquirer, according to The Post.
2:50 p.m. UPDATE:
According to Bay News 9, the new lawsuit was filed in Pinellas County, FL and, in addition to Calta, it names Don Buchwald & Associates, Inc. and its talent agent Tony Burton; former Tampa radio DJ Matt “Spice Boy” Loyd and Calta and Loyd’s employer, Cox Radio, Inc.
California attorney Keith M. Davidson; Loyd’s former wife, Tasha Nicole Carrega and her friend, Lori Burbridge; and, of course, Gawker Media, LLC., are all also named as defendants by Hogan in this latest lawsuit.
LawNewz.com reached out to Gawker for comment and received the following statement:
This is getting ridiculous. Hulk Hogan is a litigious celebrity abusing the court system to control his public image and media coverage. It was absurd enough that Hulk Hogan claimed $100m for emotional distress and economic damage for a story about a sex life that he’d already made public. Now Hulk Hogan is blaming Gawker for racist remarks he made on another sex tape, which Gawker never had. As we’ve said before and are happy to say again: Gawker did not leak the information. It’s time for Hulk Hogan to take responsibility for his own words, because the only person who got Hulk Hogan fired from the WWE is Hulk Hogan.
[image via screengrab]