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Woman who had sex with Hulk Hogan testifies in privacy trial

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    Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan arrived in court today in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker Media for $100 million, saying his privacy was violated, and he suffered emotional distress after Gawker posted a sex tape of Hogan and his then-best friend’s wife.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. » The woman who had sex with Hulk Hogan on video testified today that she didn’t know their encounter was being filmed and said she was very upset that her then-husband had recorded the encounter.

The jury in the Hulk Hogan civil trial today saw Heather Cole, the ex-wife of radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge Clem, testifying via prerecorded video.

In her deposition, recorded in 2015, Cole said she and Hogan had sex at least three times: once in a hotel, once at his house and once at the house she shared with Clem. In earlier testimony, she said she and Clem had an open marriage.

Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker Media for $100 million for posting the edited video. He contends the video violated his privacy.

Cole said that Clem showed her the video several weeks after one encounter with Hogan at their home.

“I immediately asked for it to stop,” she said in a soft voice. “I don’t remember a specific conversation. I do remember feeling very upset.”

Cole said that to her knowledge, the other encounters with Hogan weren’t filmed and that she didn’t leak the video to Gawker — and doesn’t know who did.

She also added that in her opinion, Hogan is someone who likes publicity.

Gawker Media founder Nick Denton testified that the website decided to post the Hogan sex video because “it showed Hogan as a person” and that the editorial team at Gawker deemed the minute, 41-second video newsworthy.

On Tuesday, Denton said that he did not see the video before his editor, A.J. Daulerio, posted it on the Gawker site in 2012. As founder of the media company, Denton said he was not involved in the day-to-day decisions of the editorial process.

The civil case is being held in St. Petersburg. This is the second week of testimony.

Meanwhile today, a Florida appellate court ordered that a number of sealed records be released in the case. Judge Pamela Campbell in 2015 ordered the records sealed. It’s unclear which records will be unsealed.

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