Former Gawker editor Albert Daulerio defended the newsworthiness of celebrity sex tapes in a stunning testimony Wednesday, saying he’d be willing to publish a sex tape involving any public figure over the age of four.
Gawker, meanwhile, insists Daulerio was merely joking, despite the high stakes.
Gawker is currently in the the middle of a civil trial brought by pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, who is seeking $100 million in damages after the website published a video showing him having sex with a friend’s wife. The case has significant implications for First Amendment law, as it deals with how far freedom of the press can go before amounting to invasion of privacy.
Daulerio, who no longer works at Gawker, is one of the defendants in the lawsuit, and attorneys showed a video deposition Wednesday taken in 2015, in which he says almost nothing is off-limits for reporting.
“Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?” lawyer Douglas E. Mirell asked Daulerio, according to a transcript.
“If they were a child,” Daulerio replied.
“Under what age?” Mirell asked.
Daulerio’s reply was simple.
Daulerio’s statement caused an audible murmur of shock in the courtroom, according to The New York Times.
In addition to his deposition, Daulerio has also delivered testimony this week, where he argued it was “pretty standard operating procedure” to pry into the sex lives of celebrities. He said he had “enjoyed” watching Hogan’s sex tape and was “enthusiastic” about putting it online.
The website never reached out to Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bolea, to confirm that the tape was real; Daulerio said he didn’t even care whether it was authentic or not.
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