Hulk Hogan Sex Tape: Gawker Refuses to Take Down Post
The judge's order "is grossly unconstitutional," writes editor John Cook.
On Wednesday, Hulk Hogan notched a legal win over Gawker, but the website insists that the war is still on.
The wrestler and the editors of the gossip site have been in court over an excerpt of a sex tape featuring Hogan that was posted on Gawker in October. Hogan's attorney Charles Harder told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday that Florida state court judge Pamela Campbell granted a temporary restraining order and ordered that the website take down the video.
Gawker responded with a post titled: "A Judge Told Us to Take Down Our Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Post. We Won't." Editor John Cook explained that, while the website took down the video of the sex tape itself, it would not take down the written post of previous editor A.J. Daulerio's description of the tape.
"While we vehemently disagree with Campbell's order with respect to the video itself, we have chosen to take it down pending our appeal. But the portion of the order compelling us to remove the entirety of Daulerio's post — his words, his speech — is grossly unconstitutional," Cook wrote.
As THR previously noted, Hogan had filed a $100 million lawsuit in federal court but then dropped that suit and refiled in Florida state court, where Campbell ruled in favor of the wrestler.
Gawker's Cook emphasized that Daulerio's description of the tape should not have been ordered taken down.
"The Constitution does unambiguously accord us the right to publish true things about public figures," wrote Cook. "And Campbell's order requiring us to take down not only a very brief, highly edited video excerpt from a 30-minute Hulk Hogan fucking session but also a lengthy written account from someone who had watched the entirety of that fucking session, is risible and contemptuous of centuries of First Amendment jurisprudence."
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton noted on Twitter that the site "tried to strike a balance" in response to the order.