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July 30, 2015

Hulk Hogan's Lawyer Tells Judge 'His Career Is Done,' Gawker Trial Date Set, New Claims From Linda

TampaBay.com covered today's hearing in Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea's lawsuit against Gawker for publishing clips of a sex tape that bad been shot by a home security system without his permission. Most of the conversation centered around Hogan's side accusing Gawker of leaked the racist and homophobic comments that Radar and The National Enquirer published this past week.

Hogan's attorneys told the judge that "We want the chance to prove they (Gawker) were directly involved in this," accusing Gawker of "ruining my client's career and potentially ruining his right to a fair trial." Their argument amounted to being that Gawker never wanted the records of the FBI investigation into Los Angeles attorney Keith Davidson allegedly trying to extort $150,000 from Hogan for the videos to help with their defense. Instead, Hogan's side argued, they were "on a path to get this stuff out to the media."

Gawker's recent outing of a publishing executive who attempted to hire a male prostitute was also brought up with the idea that they leaked the transcript to counter negative publicity against the company. That said, the post by Gawker founder Nick Denton alluding to Hogan having another secret (presumably the racist comments) he was trying to protect came a week before the outing controversy. Hogan's lawyers want a forensic investigation of Gawker's computers,

Gawker's attorneys explained that "There are, your honor, a long list of people who knew about Mr. Bollea's use of racist language long before Gawker learned about it." Apparently, a transcript was going around in Tampa at least as far back as 2012. "It cannot be seriously maintained that if this leaked to the Nat. Enquirer, that it came from us," as too many people had access to it. Hogan's lawyers didn't buy it. "His career is done. He's been fired from WWE. At this point judge, we want to find out what happened here." They don't take the Enquirer reporter's claim that it wasn't Gawker at face value, citing a post that shows Gawker knows how to leak things anonymously.

The judge didn't rule on anything today. However, she did set a new trial date: March 7, 2016. Hogan's side was not happy with the delay, but the judge's calendar is full until then due to a ton of mortgage foreclosures she has to deal with. Hogan's side brought up the idea of another judge hearing the case, but it didn't go anywhere.

Meanwhile, Radar Online spoke to Raymond Rafool, the attorney representing Hogan's ex-wife, Linda. He's alleging that Hogan's comments in the transcripts may contradict some of his sworn testimony during the divorce, specifically relating to being blindsided by Linda filing and some issues over the Las Vegas condo he said he was worried about being forced into selling. Hogan's side denied there was any potential issue.

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