March 18, 2016

"Hulk Hogan Awarded $115 Million in Privacy Suit Against Gawker."

The NYT reports.
Samantha Barbas, a law professor at the University at Buffalo whose research focuses on the intersection of the First Amendment, media and privacy, said... “For a jury to say that a celebrity has a right to privacy that outweighs the public’s ‘right to know,’ and that a celebrity sex tape is not newsworthy, represents a real shift in American free press law”...
The top-rated comment tops the lawprof:
This decision will have a chilling effect on the dissemination of private sex tapes involving professional wrestlers. A sad day for America.

42 comments:

mccullough said...

Erin Andrews is pissed

Triangle Man said...

Attorney: "Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?"
Gawker Editor: "If they were a child"
Attorney: "Under what age?"
Gawker Editor: "Four


That's some expensive sarcasm there.

Virgil Hilts said...

Almost seems like a smart move now for celebrities to make selfie sex tapes, surreptitiously leak them to sites like TMZ and then cross your fingers and hope they publish.

eddie willers said...

Maybe Trump can say, "The system worked".

Fen said...

Samantha Barbas, a law professor at the University at Buffalo whose research focuses on the intersection of the First Amendment, media and privacy, said... “For a jury to say that a celebrity has a right to privacy that outweighs the public’s ‘right to know,’ and that a celebrity sex tape is not newsworthy, represents a real shift in American free press law”...

I've read about Samantha Barbas around the net, and on several blogs. Does that make her a celebrity? Because I have a sextape of her that I deem "newsworthy".

traditionalguy said...

Has Gawker tried an Eminent Domain Defense yet? Taking a Hulk's penis action film for a public purpose might sell. The FMV the Journalists would have to pay could not be much at his age unless intravenous Viagra actually works on Hulk for the full threatened four hours.

Curtiss said...

It wasn't a hung jury.

Spiros Pappas said...

This jury award will create positive incentives! An excellent outcome!

mccullough said...

He won because he proved that he didn't know he was being recorded. So he didn't knowingly make a sex tape. Gawker is mad because the wife's husband, who had set up the camera, originally told the FBI that Hulk knew he was being taped. But then when the husband gave a deposition, which is under oath, he said Hulk didn't know. And Hulk testified at trial that he didn't know. The husband invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination (because he either lied to the FBI, which is a crime, or lied in his deposition, which is also a crime) so didn't testify at trial. Gawker wanted to introduce the statement to the FBI, but it's hearsay, so the judge didn't let it in.

So now all media are on warning that you can't publish a sex tape unless you either get the consent of both parties or have some proof admissible in court that both parties knew they were being taped. The wife knew, but Hulk didn't. Just because he is a celebrity, doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to privacy.

That said, the amount awarded is ridiculous. It doesn't even include punitive damages, which the jury will award later.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Gawker's revenue is $40m/yr.

They have to post 10% bond to appeal. That's going to hurt. Appeal may reduce damages. $115m is before (up to) 3x from punitive (not sure if that's 4x in total or 3x in total).

One of the main products you're getting out a deposition is the transcript. They don't annotate the snark.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Interesting changed story (+ 5th amdt defense) sinking Gawker, mccullough. Presumably defense would have wanted to argue that husband is perjuring himself to help Hulk.

madAsHell said...

"Why can't they both lose"
--Henry Kissinger

David Begley said...

I haven't followed this case at all, but why isn't the woman a plaintiff? Not a public figure and she's now divorced. I'd say she has damages.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

As a Tampa native and a young Hulkamanic, I could not be more happy for the Hulkster. Also, the wife's husband, Bubba the Love Sponge, has been a shock jock in Tampa Bay for many years. The guy was, is, and probably always will be a dirtbag.

William said...

Does being a celebrity mean you give up all human rights? I would think that the right to have sex in private is a basic and inalienable human right. Can we see a video of Joan Rivers death throes or Jack Nicholson's colonoscopy?

gadfly said...

I think that Fen has Samantha Barbas confused with stripper Samantha Barbash, who drugs clients for profit.

Zach said...

I'm surprised they didn't quote the original Gawker post.

Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway

Because the internet has made it easier for all of us to be shameless voyeurs and deviants, we love to watch famous people have sex. We watch this footage because it's something we're not supposed to see (sometimes) but we come away satisfied that when famous people have sex it's closer to the sex we as civilians have from time to time. Meaning: it's hardly ever sexy the way we expect it to be sexy, even when the participants are ostensibly more attractive than the majority of our sex partners will be...

http://gawker.com/5948770/even-for-a-minute-watching-hulk-hogan-have-sex-in-a-canopy-bed-is-not-safe-for-work-but-watch-it-anyway

If anything, it gets worse from there.

Voyeurism and invasion of privacy is about the mildest description you can come up with. I don't think the First Amendment comes into play here.

David said...

Good. Perhaps we should empower national juries to do the work of members of Congress. The Representatives could serve for 4 years each and the Senators for six. Staggered cohorts. No repeats before a 12 year hiatus. Also require regular turnover in Congressional and Executive Branch staff. Maybe it could be populated by an analog to the military draft.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Curtiss. Damn.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Perfect.

She has created a need for her to be paid a lot into infinity.

Why don't loser bitch cunt white men create themselves that, in America today?

Daddy.

So this advocate has indeed created a win/win for her: reinforce the Lawrical (I don't give enough shits about anyone that reads this fuck-of-a-comment to create a new cool term to make you tingle/think so Lawrical it is) by denying it even exists.

The idea Jesus, and His followers, have defeated this nonsense for 2000+ years, allowing us to laugh at the atheist idiocy of the Compte, isn't any bug, nor THE (as in singular) feature.

Michael K said...

Gawker deserves what it gets.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Not that the shits deserve it, but the idea A.I. is more powerful than Jesus is contemptible, from an intellectual standpoint.

They hate Him; fear A.I.

QED

Guildofcannonballs said...

Isn't it perfect our definition of artificial intelligence is defined by, in major cases, competition among games humans invented?

The only intellectual discussion is about the idea humans teaching the ability to gain consciousness and why we need to feel emotion about defining the terms "humans" and "ability" and "gain" and "consciousness" and "why" and "we" and "need" and "feel" and "emotion" and "about" and "defining" and "terms" and et al.

If not that, who cares?

About what?

Why?

The answer will always be those who get paid to care, and only government can afford to rape citizens and fuckcunt away life on less-than-mere whims of narcissism unbound.

In every way government is what we do together. Some need it while claiming it is only for all of our benefit, others despise it and are told that is anti-American and ipso facto proof of an inability to govern responsibly, only a reasonable concept if one sees government as the just distributor of life and life's time for any given person.

Darrell said...

Who benefits from this decision?

Marco Rubio. The tape of him playing the old skin flute won't see wider distribution.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Trump.

Correlation and causation and Coen Reagan (aka Gabriel Byrne).

Look, Gawker has had it out for our Donnie for awhile, and somebody has got to send a message, okay, somehow, nothing illegal, nothing, nothing illegal, but somebody has got to put a stop this hooliganism.

It's hooligans. And we, it's gotta stop. It's just, we have to put a stop to this okay, and Hillary is weak.

Guildofcannonballs said...

How about this: Trump paid some girls to invent AI that told him this:

The only thing that matters was spoke by Al to Kevin in GGR, written by the great Mammet.

Trump figured it out from there all on his own. All by himself. Alone. Took resolve and discipline, and hey, John McCain was a war hero, and I personally sorry I degraded myself by my comments about him being a traitor who only got to ruin 5 aircraft and some lives because John's daddy was an Admiral.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Would it be moral for a narcisist to serve in the military when she knows she doesn't believe the oaths taken?

The background being in each differing scenario:

A) June Cleaver's niece Mary Sue Cleaver

B) June Cleaver's niece Katherine Marysue Cleaver

C) June Cleaver's niece Nancy Sueanne Cleaver

Guildofcannonballs said...

Nancy Reagan held John McCain in the least respect you could imagine, and most likely much worse.

You've seen this website before:

https://cumulus.hillsdale.edu/Buckley/

There is too much class all around to mention it, but the internet has all kinds of stories, okay, all kinds of stories. Alright, all kinds, and, you just, you know not all of it's true, not all of it's true, but, you know, you look around and click the little buttons and, of course you understand, the stories just kind of pop out at you. Weird.

Guildofcannonballs said...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/whefb_bill_buckley_playboy_and.html

"William F. Buckley, Jr., who died February 27 at age eighty-two, was many things: graduate, and scourge, of Yale University; architect of the modern American conservative movement; founder of National Review; author of fifty books and 5,600 syndicated newspaper columns; host of TV's "Firing Line" (1,054 episodes recorded between 1966 and 1999); peerless debater and lecturer; spy and bestselling spy novelist; millionaire yachtsman; harpsichordist and pianist; bon vivant and...Playboy contributor?

Yes, in a union difficult to imagine involving any of today's leading conservatives, a group more prone to moralistic bombast than Buckley--though not, assuredly, any more moral, or resonant--the bard of East 73rd Street wrote for Hugh Hefner's oft-vilified Playboy, on and off, for almost four decades, on topics ranging from "the Negro male" and Nikita Khrushchev to Oprah Winfrey, the Internet, and Y2K.

Buckley's first appearance, in Playboy's February 1963 issue--the magazine was not yet a decade old--came in a verbatim transcript, 9,000 words long, of his famous debate against Norman Mailer the year before, at Medinah Temple in Chicago."



Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/07/whefb_bill_buckley_playboy_and.html#ixzz43KTuRb6N
Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

Terry said...

A fella would have to do a whole lot of wrestlin' to make $115 million.

Quaestor said...

Maybe Samantha Barbas has a wry sense of humor.

whitney said...

The nyt comments are interesting in that the "reader picks" all seem to be disgusted with gawker while the "nyt picks" are much more sympathetic towards gawker.

I'm disgusted with gawker yet I go to the site at least once a day. If we celebrate its downfall we should fear what replaces it

Adamsunderground said...

Erin Andrews is pissed

She hit the underside of the glass table; nobody dare suggest that nudity only pays so much

rhhardin said...

You'd think sex tape would be a contraceptive of some kind.

MaxedOutMama said...

I had no idea that a long line of First Amendment precedents involving private sex videos existed.

Certain things are innately private, and it is not a violation of press freedoms under the First Amendment to hold so.

Sarah Palin was a public figure, having been a VP candidate. Her, ah, reproducing was considered newsworthy, especially in certain quarters. Would the First Amendment warrant a journalist publishing Todd Palin's recording of the birth of her last child? I don't think so.

traditionalguy said...

It should be noted that the skills of a great trial lawyer literally created $115,000,000 by good communication with Judge and Jurors.

No lawyer, no money. And unlike in WWF "Wrestling Ballet," this is real stuff.

Thank God for the Seventh Amendment. The Second Amendment is good too, but The Seventh is the real key to all of the other Rights.

JHapp said...

share the blame:
10% wife
10% Gawker
10% Hulk
10% Hulk's partner(s)
60% liberals

coupe said...

I would fine him 115 million for having sex with humans.

LarsPorsena said...

Wow! The Hulkster gets $115 million and all Heather Clem got was chafed thighs.

Paco Wové said...

"the amount awarded is ridiculous"

Oh, I don't know. If they had ordered Nick Denton drawn and quartered, and the remains air-dropped on Old Blighty, I'd have been ok with that.

Birches said...

I'm trying to understand how disseminating a private sex tape is a freedom of the press issue. If gawker had been able to prove Hulk knew about the tape and made copies they would have had a case. If they'd just described the tape, they wouldn't have been sued at all.