Media outlets counter Hulk Hogan’s motion to block press from viewing sex tape
Hulk Hogan isn't the only one who can call in a tag team.
Several media organizations on Tuesday moved to oppose a motion by the former professional wrestling star — real name Terry Bollea — to prevent news organizations from viewing at trial a sex tape that spurred a multi-million dollar invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.
The organizations, which include First Look Media, BuzzFeed, CNN, The Associated Press and Vox Media, claim that Hogan's motion infringes on the freedom of the press. From the motion:
The overarching principles at stake — that the public is entitled to know what takes place in the courts of the state of Florida, and the First Amendment right of Intervenors to report what happens in the courtroom to its readers — transcend this case alone.
News of the motion was reported first by Re/code.
Those news organizations join the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, which is also opposing the motion, and Gawker Media, which filed a response to the proposed closure on Friday.
"A trial is not a lightly scripted reality television show with a contrived ‘Father Knows Best’ ending," Gawker's response reads. "The courtroom is not a professional wrestling ring with a predetermined 'world wrestling champion.'"
In an interview with Poynter on Saturday, Hogan's attorney, Charles Harder, said he does not intend to shut the press out of the courtroom entirely; rather, he wants monitors showing the sex tape facing away from the gallery towards the judge, jury and attorneys.
A hearing to determine the closure of the courtroom has been set for Wednesday.