Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Scandal and Gawker Lawsuit

A Timeline Involving the Sex Tape of Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem

Hulk Hogan's prayers were answered as a jury awarded him $115 million in his trial against Gawker.com
Hulk Hogan on the stand in his 2016 trial against Gawker.com. Getty Images

In 2012, a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan appeared. This scandal has led to multiple lawsuits, the destruction of a friendship, the end of an iconic career and a $140 million lawsuit.

The Players

  • Hulk Hogan: The Hulkster is one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of the sport. For the past few years, Hulk has become even more famous for the drama in his personal life, such as his divorce and son's auto accident, which played out on the reality shows Hogan Knows Best and Brooke Knows Best
  • Bubba the Love Sponge: Bubba is a famous radio personality. Hulk and Bubba were such good friends that Hulk served as the best man when he married his second wife, Heather.
  • Heather Clem: Heather was the second wife of Bubba the Love Sponge. The two are divorced from one another.

2007

When Hulk Hogan's marriage to Linda Hogan was on the rocks, Hulk was given permission from Bubba to have sex with his wife. Based upon comments made by everyone involved, this filmed act took place in 2007. The film was recorded in Bubba's home.

2012

March 7: On this day, the world became aware that there was a Hulk Hogan sex tape. Hulk would go on to claim to not know who the woman in the tape was. When asked if it was Heather Clem, Hulk denied that it was her. As people who have followed the Hulkster closely know, Hulk has a history of lying to the media (video of Hulk on The Arsenio Hall Show).

October 4: Gawker.com posted one-minute footage from the film on their website as well as a recap of all the nasty details.

The video makes it obvious that the woman in the tape was Heather Clem.

October 9: Hulk began a media tour to promote but found out that people were much more interested in his sex tape. Hulk finally admitted to his friend Howard Stern that it was Heather on the tape and that Bubba gave him the OK to sleep with his wife.

He also said that the reason he lied to Howard a few months earlier was because he was in protection mode. There is a recap available of his appearance on Marksfriggin.com (note: contains potentially offensive content).

Hulk found out from the TMZ staff who had seen the film that it ends with Bubba telling Heather "If we ever did want to retire, all we'd have to do is use this footage." When Hulk finds out, he says "I'm sick to my stomach right now." Hulk also told TMZ that he had spoken to Bubba about the tape and that Bubba denied being involved in the recording of it.

October 15: Hulk held a press conference to announce multiple lawsuits. He filed civil suits against Bubba and Heather for filming him having sex without his permission. He couldn't press criminal charges because the 4-year statute of limitations for that alleged crime had passed. He also sued Gawker.com for $100 million for posting footage from the tape on their site. Hulk's legal team also demanded that anyone with footage of the tape turn it over to them immediately so it can be destroyed and that they will sue anyone that republishes the footage.

October 17: Bubba appeared on the Howard Stern show to give his side of the story.

He claimed that due to a custody battle he was going through at the time, his house contained an elaborate surveillance system. Bubba said that Hogan knew about this because Hulk had lived in his house for several months. Howard confirmed that Bubba had this surveillance system. Bubba also claimed that he doesn't know how the tape was leaked and that he has yet to see the video. He also goes on to say that reports from RadarOnline.com, which stated he used to watch the tape with his staff members as well as other tapes of his wife sleeping with celebrities, are not true.

October 19: TMZ reported that they have seen three more tapes involving Heather Clem sleeping with three different men filmed in the same bedroom where she had slept with Hulk Hogan. Two of the tapes feature the same overhead surveillance angle that was used in the Hulkster's tape, while in the third one, she allegedly double-checked a camera and said: "Is this thing recording?

Okay, not that I don't trust you but I will get in trouble if it doesn't." This comment tends to indicate that she had some sort of arrangement with her then-husband that it was OK for her to have sex with other men as long as there was a recording of it. The TMZ report did not indicate who the men in the tape were.

October 29: Hulk settled the lawsuit he had against his former best friend. Terms of the deal are confidential, however, Bubba issued a public apology on his radio show.  It has since been reported that Bubba settled the case for only five thousand.

The National Enquirer and RadarOnline revealed that Hulk Hogan used the "N Word" several times and made some bigoted comments on the tape when he was venting to Bubba's wife about the relationship his daughter, Brooke Hogan, was having with an African-American male.  The Hulkster's relationship with WWE came to an end and the company further distanced themselves from him by deleting his profile from the WWE Hall of Fame.

2015

November 17: According to an investigation by Tampa police, Matt "Spiceboy" Loyd, a former employee of Bubba The Love Sponge, stole several sex tapes from Bubba and then hired a middleman to extort the Hulkster. The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office declined to press charges against Spiceboy.  

2016

March 18: After only six hours of deliberations, a jury awarded Hulk Hogan $115 million in compensatory damages in his lawsuit against Gawker. The website immediately announced that they would be filing an appeal. The low light of the trial featured Hulk Hogan describing the difference between the anatomy of Hulk Hogan and Terry Bollea. A few days later, he was awarded an additional $25.1 million in punitive damages.