The hosts of ABC’s “The View” put Gawker founder Nick Denton‘s ass on blast Thursday as they tried to crucify him for the recent court ruling against him for publishing a video of Hulk Hogan having sex. A jury in Florida awarded Hogan $140 million. Gawker plans to appeal the case.
“You said this is newsworthy,” stated host Paula Faris. “How is someone’s private sexual encounter considered newsworthy?”
Denton began by insulting the wrestler with the horseshoe mustache.
“There’s nothing normal about Hulk Hogan,” he said in his distinctive British accent. “He’s not an example of a normal person. He is in character almost all the time. Whenever he leaves the house, with his bandana on. This is really not a very normal situation. He was having sex with his best friend’s wife while the best friend was coming in and out of the room. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a story and millions of people thought it was a story.”
Denton suggested the trio — Bubba the Love Sponge, his ex-wife, Heather Clem, and Hogan — may have all been involved in the planning of the sex tape.
Whatever the case, Denton said he still thinks publishing was fair game. “He was benefiting from it,” he said of Hogan. “He was actually using it on his media tours and his promotion… He was, like, joking about his performance. …He was a celebrity who had made his sex life so much part of his character on talk radio… Celebrities have to exercise some sort of responsibility themselves.”
All the hosts sided squarely with Hogan. Joy Behar snapped, “You’re blaming the victim in this case. He’s doing what he’s doing, you’re exploiting and the jury is basically saying you were wrong.”
Denton argued, “We’re both businesses. He’s a celebrity business…and he talks about his sex life as part of that business.”
The Gawker founder tried to soften the reality by explaining that even he doesn’t really want to watch Hogan boinking his ex-best friend’s former wife. “It’s not to everyone’s taste,” he said. “I’ll be the first to accept that. To some extent it’s not to my taste. But it has been deemed newsworthy by the higher courts… In this country, even if it’s not to your taste you’re supposed to be able to read freely.”
Any regrets about publishing the video?
Denton said, “I wish I had known how litigious Hulk Hogan was.”