The Hulk Hogan sex tape has been a strange soap opera with twists and turns worthy of a pro wrestling storyline. Hogan and his attorney claim that the whole thing is a ‘shoot’ and they’ve filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Gawker gossip website and the entry of Bubba the Love Sponge and ex-wife Heather Clem (though as of late last week Bubba’s attorney claims that they’ve yet to be served).
On Monday Hogan lost the ‘first fall’ in his fight for legal redress. A federal judge denied Hogan’s request for a temporary restraining order against Gawker that would have forced them to remove the former WWE/WCW champion’s now infamous sex tape from their website. The earliest that Hogan’s side can compel Gawker to remove the video is November 8 at a preliminary hearing.
U.S. District Judge James Whittemore said that Hogan’s attorney failed to show a need for immediate action, writing in his ruling:
“Plaintiff has failed to show that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result before Defendants can be heard in opposition.”
So far no reaction from Hogan or his attorneys to the legal setback.
The story got *really* strange last week on several fronts–first, SiriusXM shock jock Howard Stern wanted to mediate some sort of detente between Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge. Stern’s position is that Hogan had to know that he was being taped citing Bubba’s obsession with video surveillance:
“Everyone down in Florida knew Bubba tapes everything. I’ve had friends who’ve gone to Bubba’s house, and they go, ‘Don’t go to Bubba’s house.’ You know how many times Bubba has invited me to his house? And I’m like, ‘Yeah, this is going to be the Howard Stern masturbation tape.”
Stern said that if he could get Hogan and Bubba in the same room that he’d get him to drop the lawsuit. Not surprisingly, Hogan’s side demurred. Attorney David Houston broke the ‘bad news’:
“I appreciate Howard Stern’s offer. I know it has entertainment value, but this isn’t entertainment. We’re dealing with some drastic consequences in my client’s life.”
Bubba’s ‘surveillance tape’ defense was undermined somewhat by the revelation that his ex-wife Heather Clem had made a number of other sex tapes in the same bedroom.