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Brooke Hogan says her TV wrestler father Hulk Hogan was “humanized” by winning his invasion of privacy lawsuit last year against Gawker Media, with a $140 million judgment.
“It was very tough on him. It was very sad to see him so screwed up because I know none of us are perfect,” Hogan told The Hollywood Reporter by phone from MIPTV in Cannes, where her Canadian-produced reality TV series The Fashion Hero is being shopped to international buyers.
Hogan insisted her father’s good traits earned his fans’ loyalty over four years of litigation surrounding the publication of a private 2012 sex tape that led up to Hulk’s Gawker trial victory. “I said, ‘Dad, no matter how crazy the press is, the public and your fans, they’re not stupid. They know your heart and who you are,'” she recalled.
Hogan refused to talk about the $31 million settlement her father eventually negotiated with Gawker Media’s founder Nick Denton, but did insist “my dad persevered, and always took the high road and was accountable, and I respect and honor him for that.”
Her father’s positive message, for her and his fans, helped Hogan last year host the first eight episodes of The Fashion Hero, a TV competition series for hopeful models who don’t fit the unrealistic mold of Hollywood and the fashion industry.
“I’m Italian. Most of my family is severely over-weight. It’s been taxing to keep my weight under control. I also had really bad skin and I wasn’t popular,” she said of growing up. Having Hulk Hogan, a TV celebrity, in her life also threw up issues for a young teen with body image issues.
“He [Hulk] was always a horse of a different color. He was tanned and blond and from Venice Beach. And people assumed he was a big, loud, screaming monster,” Hogan recalls. “But the cool thing is he used his platform for good. He knew he was impacting impressionable minds. So he told young kids to train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins.”
Hogan in Cannes helped unveil European format deals for The Fashion Hero that will see her reality series possibly remade in Poland, Belgium and Spain via agreements with local TV producers. Those pacts follow similar format deals for the Asian Pacific region and Venezuela.
The Fashion Hero sees Hogan mentoring international contestants competing before a panel of fashion designers for the opportunity to be featured in international advertising campaigns. Hogan said her father supports her TV hosting gig and even asked to be a contestant on her show.
“I said, ‘Dad, you can’t model,’ even though he could as he models his own T-shirts. But that’s enough,” she said.
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