NEW YORK – Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea won $140 million in his lawsuit with Gawker Media after they published his private sex tape. Gawker CEO Nick Denton has vowed to appeal, saying the trial was a “sham” and claiming “the case was never about the sex on the tape Gawker received, but about racist language on another, unpublished tape that threatened Hogan’s reputation and career.”
In a sit-down interview with FOX411, Hogan said “even when there were rumors there may be racial comments on the tape I told [my lawyer] David [Houston], I said I don’t remember what happened seven years ago. I don’t know if I said for sure, but if there is, that isn’t going to deter me from moving forward.”
“I’m not a racist,” Hogan said, adding he could care less if Gawker appeals or not – he’s just glad the gossip site was exposed.
“If there’s an appeal and they win, come what may, I’m fine” Hogan said. “All I wanted was to let everyone know what Gawker’s all about and what they do to destroy lives.”
Regarding the $140 million award - $40 million more than he was even suing for -- Hogan said he couldn’t care less.
“It wasn’t the money for me because in my life I’ve had a lot of money before, and I was very unhappy for other reasons. It was my personal life,” Hogan said. “But the last thing I wanted was that feeling again, and I knew that if I had done something to settle I would be unhappy because I knew what the truth was, and I knew how it devastated me, and it still makes me cower and not be the Hulk Hogan I used to be. When I leave my house and I meet people what do they think? Did they see the tape? What do the kids think?”
Hogan, 62, hopes his victory can help restore his reputation.
“The good part is my fans, my kids, my wife Jennifer – the people that know me, know who I am, and the whole WWE universe – the fan base – they know who I am,” he said. “And for the people that don’t know who I am hopefully by apologizing and being accountable, and over time hopefully I can win people back.”
Hogan, who was fired by the WWE for the racist language he used on one of the released videos, hopes a reunion with his former employer is in store.
“Wrestling has always been my life, and the whole thing was erased and taken away from me. The WWE universe, the fans, and everybody are my family, you know, I’ve gotten nothing but respect for the whole crew that runs the whole WWE,” he said. “I understand they had to do what was best for business in this case but at the end of the day, they know I’m not a racist. They’ve known me for 35 years. They know who I am. I made a dumb mistake, did something horrible that I’ll forever regret, but if I had a chance to ever come back home to WWE, the first thing I’d love to do is punch Vince [McMahon] right in the nose. That would be a dream come true.”