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By Mike Johnson on 2012-11-14 18:36:57
In a nine page ruling issued yesterday and publicly released today, Judge James D. Whittemore struck down Hulk Hogan's motion asking the court to pull down clips of his sex tape with Heather Clem from

In his ruling, Whittemore noted that the "cat is out of the bag" in regard to the tape and that there could be an argument made that the tape was indeed newsworthy.

He also noted that while Hogan's lawyers have claimed his privacy was invaded, Hogan himself opened that door with his reality show, discussion of the tape publicly, and discussion of his infidelities in his marriage to Linda Hogan in his "Outside the Ring" autobiography. Basically, by creating interest in his personal life for commercial gain, Hogan created a general interest by the public into his exploits and those would include things that he could find personally embarrassing.

In regard to Hogan's claim that the video clips remaining online would lead to "irreparable harm", the court ruled, "the fact that Plaintiff may be embarrassed by the Video is not "the type of irreparable harm or injury that would tip the scale toward justifying a prior restraint."

Hogan's legal argument that the tape would fall under a precedent set when a court barred the sale of a sex tape involving singer Bret Michaels was also shot down, as the court noted that case involved the commercial sale of the tape, while Gawker Media (while indirectly profiting from having it online), was not selling the material.

The court also noted, "Plaintiff has failed to satisfy his heavy burden to overcome the presumption that the requested preliminary injunction would be an unconstitutional prior restraint under the First Amendment."

So, while Hogan's attempts to have the footage pulled have been, thus far, unsuccessful, his lawsuit will continue and the Judge noted that if Hogan can prove his case, they will re-evaluate the decision not to force Gawker to remove the material.

Hogan, meanwhile, has filed an updated case against Gawker, noting that the video would violate a copyright he owns, so it appears he is claiming ownership of the tape (or at least his appearance on it, as the owner of Hulk Hogan the personality).

So, that's the latest.

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