Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media have spent the last two weeks duking it out in a St. Petersburg, Florida courtroom. Now it’s time to determine the winner.
Attorneys delivered closing arguments on Friday in Hogan’s lawsuit against the online news organization.
The six person jury began deliberations Friday to decide whether the former professional wrestler’s privacy was violated when Gawker Media’s flagship site published portions of his sex tape in 2012.
Hogan attorney Kenneth Turkel used his closing argument to paint the defendants — Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, former Gawker.com editor A.J. Daulerio and the parent company — as indecent gossip-mongers who make a mockery of journalism.
Turkel told the jury that Daulerio “didn’t have the common decency” to reach out to any of the parties involved before he posted the video excerpts and the commentary, which “probably tells you all you need to know about Gawker.”
Delivering his own closing argument, Gawker attorney Michael Sullivan articulated the company’s free speech argument that’s been the bedrock of the defense’s case. The First Amendment, he told jurors, also protects unpopular speech.