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Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker $100 million sex tape lawsuit postponed

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Hulk Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit against Gawker has been delayed indefinitely. The case involving a sex-tape released in 2012 was originally scheduled to begin Monday.

The ruling was handed down by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal and cites rules regarding timing of jury trials. The July 6 trial date was set on June 19, thus violating that rule.

The opinion published Thursday argues the lower court judge, Pamela Campbell was “persuaded by Bollea’s side that it could disregard the opponents’ objections as innocuous technicalities.”

“The delay of the trial provides us the important opportunity to find out more about the three additional Hulk Hogan video recordings obtained by the FBI that appear highly relevant to the facts of the case,” a statement from Gawker read. “We have the right to know the full story and are concerned because one of the tapes produced by the FBI today is incomplete while there is a serious irregularity in another tape.”

That question involves DVDs collected by the FBI during an investigation launched in 2012. Gawker went through great lengths to acquire information from the FBI through a Freedom of Information Act Request that was originally denied based on privacy rights.

Gawker took the case to court where Hogan, legally known as Terry Bollea, was forced to waive his right to privacy. Following that decision the FBI continued to refuse turning the requested items over due to an ongoing investigation.

Gawker then won a second court case forcing the FBI to turn over applicable documents and DVDs.

The entire controversy stems from a 2006 sexual encounter between Hogan and Heather Clem. Clem was the wife of radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge at the time.

The video shows Clem and Hogan having sex while, reportedly, Clem’s husband videotaped and encouraged the encounter.

The tape was leaked in 2012 when Gawker posted excerpts of it.

Hogan is suing saying the leak constituted an invasion of privacy. Gawker claims that because Hogan has been publically open about his sex life, the tape was newsworthy.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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