Pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan’s victory over Gawker grew even more massive Monday, as a Florida jury voted to award him an additional $25 million in punitive damages in his defamation lawsuit — taking his final award up to an eye-popping $140 million.
The $25 million addition is apportioned as $15 million from Gawker, $10 million from Gawker owner Nick Denton and another $100,000 from former Gawker editor A. J. Daulerio. (RELATED: Hulk Hogan Body Slams Gawker, Gets $115 Million)
The gargantuan damages figure is the result of Hogan’s lawsuit regarding Gawker’s 2012 publication of a sex tape that shows Hogan having sex with his neighbor’s wife. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, argued that the video caused him tremendous emotional distress and was devastating to his reputation.
In a statement to the jury before the punitive damages were announced, Gawker said the company’s annual revenues were $48.7 million, barely a third of the total judgment. The combined value of Denton and Gawker itself is about $200 million. Judge Pamela Campbell had told the jury that its punitive award could not be unreasonably large or beyond the ability of Gawker to ever pay. Michael Berry, one of Gawker’s attorneys, argued Monday that the original $115 million award was already “financially devastating” to the company.
Gawker says it plans to appeal the verdict, and even if it fails in reversing the judgment, it may be able to reduce the amount of damages.
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