Hulk Hogan trial: Gawker's Nick Denton slammed with $10M punitive damages verdict

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Hulk Hogan's $115 Million Victory: Is It Deserved?

A Florida jury has awarded Hulk Hogan $25 million in punitive damages in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker Media. That's $15 million from Gawker, $10 million from Gawker owner Nick Denton and $100,000 from former Gawker editor in chief A.J. Daulerio.

The decision brings the total verdict to $140.1 million, counting the $115 million in compensatory damages that came after the end of a two-week trial where Hogan emerged victorious on his claims of privacy intrusion, publicity rights violation and infliction of emotional distress.

The huge award is meant to punish Gawker for its Oct. 2012 posting of Hogan's sex tape video. Gawker argued that the use of the video in its story was newsworthy and should be protected by the First Amendment, but the defendant couldn't overcome Hogan's argument that privacy outweighed this.

PHOTOS: Inside Hulk Hogan's lawsuit

22 PHOTOS
Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit
See Gallery
Hulk Hogan trial: Gawker's Nick Denton slammed with $10M punitive damages verdict
Hulk Hogan sits in court before the start of his trial Thursday, March 17, 2016, 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. (Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)
Former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, left, along with attorney Seema Ghatnekar prepare to take a break just after the jury was handed Hogan's case against Gawker Media for deliberations on Friday, March 18, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for $100 million for posting a video of him having sex with his former best friend's wife. Hogan contends the 2012 post violated his privacy. (Boyzell Hosey/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)
Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan addresses the jury during his closing statements in the trial of former professional wrester Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker media, in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, March 18, 2016. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for $100 million for posting a video of him having sex with his former best friend's wife. Hogan contends the 2012 post violated his privacy. (Boyzell Hosey/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)
Hulk Hogan talks with his attorneys before the start of his trial Thursday, March 17, 2016, 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. (Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)
Judge Pamela A. M. Campbell raises her hand to swear in the jury during the Hulk Hogan's trial Thursday, March 17, 2016, 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. (Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)
Hulk Hogan talks with his attorneys before his trial Thursday, March 17, 2016, 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. (Dirk Shadd/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool) MANDATORY CREDIT
Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, testifies in court on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Fla. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker for $100 million, saying that his privacy was violated, and he suffered emotional distress after Gawker posted a sex tape filmed of Hogan and his then-best friendâs wife. (John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
Former Gawker employee A.J. Daulerio, right, testifies at the Pinellas County Courthouse in St. Petersburg, Fla., Monday, March 14, 2016. Hulk Hogan is suing Gawker Media for $100 million for posting an edited video showing him having sex with his then-best friend's wife. Lawyers for Gawker Media began presenting their case on Monday. (Stephen Yang/New York Post via AP, Pool)
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, left, and reporter A.J. Daulerio, right, sit inside a Pinellas County courtroom, Monday, March 14, 2016, in St Petersburg, Fla. Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker Media for the publication of a sex tape involving the former wrestler. Lawyers for Gawker Media began presenting their client's case on Monday. (Stephen Yang/New York Post via AP, Pool)
University of Florida journalism professor Mike Foley testifies during Hulk Hogan's trial against Gawker Media Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, waits in the courtroom during a break Wednesday, March 9. 2016, in his trial against Gawker Media in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
Gawker Media reporter A.J. Daulerio attends Hulk Hogan's trial against Gawker Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton attends Hulk Hogan's trial against Gawker Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, leaves the courtroom during a break Wednesday, March 9. 2016, in his trial against Gawker Media in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NEW YORK POST OUT
Pinellas County Judge Pamella Campbell, second right, meets with attorneys at the bench Wednesday, March 9. 2016, during Hulk Hogan's lawsuit trial against Gawker Media in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NEW YORK POST OUT
Gawker Media's Nick Denton, left, and A.J. Daulerio, right, listens to testimony during Hulk Hogan's lawsuit trial against Gawker Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NEW YORK POST OUT
Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, takes a moment as attorneys talk to the judge in court on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Fl. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker for $100 million, saying that his privacy was violated, and he suffered emotional distress after Gawker posted one minute and forty one seconds of a sex tape filmed of Hogan and his then-best friendâs wife. (John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
David Houston, an attorney for Hulk Hogan, testifies Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Hogan's trial against Gawker Media in St. Petersburg, Fla. Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, and his attorneys are suing Gawker 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. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool) MANDATORY NEW YORK POST OUT
FILE -In this Tuesday, March 1, 2016 file photo, Terry Bollea, known as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, watches potential jurors at the Pinellas County Courthouse, in St. Petersburg, Fla., as jury selection began in his case vs. Gawker Media. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday, March 7, 2016, in the civil trial between pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and a popular news website. (Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool, File)
Judge Pamela Campbell listens during a sidebar as Hulk Hogan, whose given name is Terry Bollea, testifies in court on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 during Hogan's trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Fla. Hogan and his attorneys are suing Gawker for $100 million, saying that his privacy was violated, and he suffered emotional distress after Gawker posted a sex tape filmed of Hogan and his then-best friendâs wife. (John Pendygraft/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool) MANDATORY NY POST OUT
ST PETERSBURG, FL - MARCH 07: Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, testifies in his case against the website Gawker at the Pinellas County Courthouse March 7, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bollea is taking legal action against Gawker in a USD 100 million lawsuit for releasing a video of him having sex with his best friends wife. (Photo by Boyzell Hosey-Pool/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The jury was instructed that they should award punitive damages to deter defendants and others similarly situated and shouldn't award an amount that would financially destroy Gawker nor make it unreasonably large in relation to compensatory damages. The parties stipulated that Gawker's pre-judgment value was $83 million, that the news company's revenue last year was $48.7 million, and that Denton's assets from his ownership in various companies was worth $276 million. As for Daulerio, both sides acknowledged that he was still in debt from student loans.

Read MoreMichael Wolff on Hulk Hogan's $115M Verdict and Why Gawker Should Settle the Case

"You send a message," said Hogan attorney Ken Turkel to the jury before the punitive damages award came. "You make a statement. You draw a line when it comes to a recording in a private bedroom."

"$115 million is punishment enough," said Gawker attorney Mike Berry. "The amount you have rendered in your verdict is already far beyond their means... That amount is debilitating... My clients have heard your decision."

Berry added that the decision would "send a chill" to news reporters everywhere and would have "far-reaching ramifications."

Florida judge Pamela Campbell will likely be asked to trim the awards. Regardless of what she decides, Gawker has indicated that it intends to appeal the verdict.

Read MoreWhy Hulk Hogan's $115 Million Gawker Verdict Is a Signpost for the Future

PHOTOS: Hulk Hogan through the years

41 PHOTOS
Hulk Hogan
See Gallery
Hulk Hogan trial: Gawker's Nick Denton slammed with $10M punitive damages verdict
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2012, file photo, reality TV star and former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, looks on as his attorney speaks during a news at the United States Courthouse in Tampa, Fla. Hogan is suing Gawker for invasion of privacy, after the New York-based website published a tape of Hogan having sex with his then-best friend's wife. The trial starts Monday, July 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
World Wrestling Federation heavyweight champion Hulk Hogan, left, and Mr. T. appear at a news conference on Sunday, March 18, 1985 in New York?s Madison Square Garden. Mr. T will make his professional wrestling debut on March 31, when he will be teamed with Hogan against Rowdy Roddy Piper and partner Paul Orndorff in the tag team headliner of the World Wrestling Foundation?s ?Wrestlemania.? (AP Photo/Corey Struller)
Cyndi Lauper with Hulk Hogan on Feb. 26, 1985. (AP Photo)
Comedienne Joan Rivers shown with ?Hulk? Hogan in 1985. (AP Photo)
Rock singer Cyndi Lauper, left, speaks to reporters at the Rainbow Grill in New York on Wednesday, May 1, 1985, following an altercation which occurred during a promotional news conference there. At center is actor Mr. T. At right is his wrestling partner, Hulk Hogan. Wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper directed insults at Lauper?s mother. Lauper slapped him. In the ensuing melee, four wrestlers, including Mr. T, tumbled to the floor. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis)
Muhammad Ali shown with Liberace, Hulk Hogan on March 29, 1985 at Madison Square Garden for Wrestle Mania in New York City. Ail will referee match. Liberate will be timekeeper. (AP Photo/David Pickoff)
Wrestler Hulk Hogan prepares to slam "Rowdy" Roddy Piper down on the mat during "WrestleMania," a wrestling extravaganza at New York's Madison Square Garden, March 31, 1985. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)
Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in New York, May 31, 1985. (AP Photo)
Entertainer Dolly Parton, wearing a wedding dress, is shown with 300-pound wrestler Hulk Hogan during taping of a television special in Los Angeles, Ca., on Sept. 14, 1987. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
Hulk Hogan, left, wins back the World Wrestling Federation Title after defeating Macho Man Randy Savage during Wrestlemania V sponsored by Trump Plaza Hotel Casino, Sunday, April 4, 1989, Atlantic City, N.J. The referee is unidentified. (AP Photo/B. Vartan Boyajian)
Randy "Macho Man" Savage holds challenger Hulk Hogan (l-r) in a headlock during the main event for WrestleMania V, Atlantic City, New Jersey, B&W graphic element on black
Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan is shown in this 1991 photo. (AP Photo/File, Chris Martinez)
Dr. George T. Zahorian III, center, an osteopath from Harrisburg, Pa., poses with Vince McMahon, left, and wrestler Hulk Hogan in 1988. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, left, is pictured staring down wrestling's Hulk Hogan as the two meet at New York City's Planet Hollywood Wednesday, October 6, 1993. Hogan was at the restaurant to donate his pink tutu from his new movie, Mr. Nanny to their movie memorabilia collection when Ali came in for lunch. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Basketball star Dennis Rodman, center, helps his wrestling tag team back to the ring Sunday, March 16, 1997, at the World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view event at the North Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, S.C. At left is Randy "Macho Man" Savage, and at right is his partner Hulk Hogan. (AP Photo/Paula Illingworth)
Hollywood Hulk Hogan puts a choke hold on the neck of Utah Jazz basketball star Karl Malone at a pay-per-view wrestling match Sunday July 12, 1998 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
World Championship Wrestling (WCW) wrestler Hollywood Hogan, right, shakes hands with Nigel Morris, president of Capital One, during a promotional event outside the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 1, 1998. Capital One MasterCard, in alliance with WCW, will issue new credit cards depicting the faces of some of WCW's most popular wrestlers. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
Professional wrestler Hollywood Hulk Hogan, right, and radio talk show host Don Imus ham it up after Hogan appeared on Imus' show to present a check from Ted Turner for Imus' children's cancer ranch Friday, Nov. 13, 1998, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Hulk Hogan presents his daughter, Brooke Hogan, as they arrive at the MTV Music Video Awards in Miami, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan walks the red carpet during The Radio Music Awards at The Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts, Monday Oct. 25, 2004, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Actor Sylvester Stallone, left, wrestler Hulk Hogan, center, and WWE chief Vince McMahon pose for photographers after the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Wrestler Hulk Hogan holds up a plaque while speaking after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
FILE - in this April 3, 2005, file photo, Hulk Hogan fires up the crowd between matches during WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. Hogan, perhaps the biggest star in WWE's 50-year history, is set to bring the red-and-yellow back to the sports entertainment behemoth and will host the April 6, 2014, WrestleMania in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
Wrestlers John Cena, left, and Hulk Hogan joke on stage as they present the Choice Movie Hissy Fit award at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards in Universal City, Calif. on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Hulk Hogan appears on MTV's Total Request Live show Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at MTV studios in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
Hulk Hogan rips off his tee-shirt while appearing on MTV's Total Request Live show Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at MTV studios in New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
Hulk Hogan poses during the MTV Video Music Awards Forum at Radio City Music Hall Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2006 in New York. The 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, hosted by Jack Black, will be held Thursday, Aug. 31, at New York's Radio City Music Hall. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND JAN. 20-21 ** In this undated photo released by Kyle Wood, Kyle Wood, left, and Hulk Hogan pose during a taping of the VH-1 reality show "Hogan Knows Best." (AP Photo/Kyle Wood via La Crosse Tribune)
Wrestler Hulk Hogan arrives at the Ocean Drive/Market America Super Bowl XLI party Saturday night, Feb. 3, 2007, in the South Beach section of Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris Polk)
New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, left and wrestling legend and cable television reality show star Hullk Hogan pose for photographers before being honored as 2007 Fathers of the Year by the National Father's Day Committee in New York, Thursday, June 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Wrestler Hulk Hogan, also known as Terry Bollea, makes an appearance at MTV studios in Times Square for MTV's "Total Request Live" to promote his new show "American Gladiators", Monday, Jan. 7, 2008, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
Entertainer Hulk Hogan, who will reign as King Bacchus, celebrates with staff and patients at Children's hospital in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. The Mardi Gras parade will march through the streets of the Crescent City on Sunday evening. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Hulk Hogan, former professional wrestler, flexes his muscles, graphic element on black
Hulk Hogan poses for a portrait Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Hulk Hogan poses for a portrait Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Hulk Hogan poses for a portrait Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Hulk Hogan arrives at Spike TV's Video Game Awards on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Culver City, Calif. (AP Photo/Joe Kohen)
Reality TV star and former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, looks on as his attorney speaks during a news conference Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 at the United States Courthouse in Tampa, Fla. Hogan says he was secretly taped six years ago having sex with the ex-wife of DJ Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. Portions of the video of Hogan and Heather Clem were posted on the online gossip site Gawker. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Reality TV star and former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, arrives at the United States Courthouse for a news conference Monday, Oct. 15, 2012 Tampa, Fla. Hogan says he was secretly taped six years ago having sex with the ex-wife of DJ Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem. Portions of the video of Hogan and Heather Clem were posted on the online gossip site Gawker. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
From left, Orlando Jones and Hulk Hogan participate in FOX's "Sleepy Hollow" autograph signing and panel during New York Comic Con, on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at Javits Convention Center, in New York City, NY. (Photo by Laura Thompson/Invision for FOX Broadcasting/AP Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Read Full Story

From Our Partners