Hulk Hogan feeling good ahead of trial
Hulk Hogan is feeling "pretty good" about his sex tape court case.
The 62-year-old wrestler is seeking $100 million in damages from website Gawker, which published secretly-recorded footage of him having sex with Heather Clem, and he was in a positive frame of mind as he arrived at court in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first day of the trial today (07.03.16).
As Hulk - whose real name is Terry Bollea - arrived with attorney David Houston, he told reporters he was feeling "pretty darn good", though he admitted he is "not used to getting up this early" except to work out.
Meanwhile, the WWE star's long-time lawyer claims the tape - which was filmed by Hulk's friend, Heather's then-husband Bubba 'The Love Sponge' Clem - destroyed his client's confidence.
Mr. Houston told the New York Post newspaper: "The Terry Bollea that I met was a confident, outgoing person that quite frankly believed in his message, and after the video, I know that he portrays the same persona, but you can tell it's not as strong -- there's that self-doubt."
The wrestler is expected to take the stand today to tell the six-person jury the gossip website caused him "serious emotional turmoil" by exposing his affair with Heather, and argue Gawker harmed his reputation by posting the grainy footage, which was shot in 2006.
Hulk is seeking $100 million for invasion of privacy in the civil case.
He previously settled a separate suit with Bubba for $5,000.
Meanwhile, the website have issued a statement today in which they blast the 'Hogan Knows Best' star for his legal action, which could bankrupt the company if he wins.
They said: "Three-and-a-half years ago, Gawker showed nine seconds of Hulk Hogan having sex with the wife of his best friend, Bubba the Love Sponge -- who actually made the 30-minute tape and appears in it himself.
"Hulk Hogan was more than willing to talk about his sex life -- including in two autobiographies, a reality TV series and Howard Stern's radio show -- until he didn't like what Gawker had to say. Now he wants $100 million as compensation. Compare that with the $5,000 settlement that Bubba paid Hulk for the actual taping."