NEW YORK – Hulk Hogan and WWE announced they had cut ties on Friday after a transcript from a 2006 video in which he freely used the “n-word” was leaked.
The transcript was contained in a sealed deposition that is part of a $100 million lawsuit Hogan filed against the gossip site Gawker for posting online a video of him having sex with a friend’s ex-wife. The sex video in question is the same recording on which he made the leaked racist statements.
Hogan has refused to settle with Gawker, and the lawsuit will likely go to trial later this year. Originally set for July 6, the trial was postponed earlier this month after the 2nd District Court of Appeals filed a proceeding regarding trial rules, stating that some of the defense motions were filed too close to its scheduled start date.
The timing of the leak has at least one person suspicious: Hogan’s lawyer, David Houston.
“I have my suspicions, as you can imagine,” Houston told FOX411. “If I can find out it is Gawker who leaked the transcripts, we will bury them.”
Gawker President and General Counsel Heather Dietrick denied the site had anything to do with the leak.
"Hulk Hogan has only one person to blame for what he said and no one from Gawker had any role in leaking that information," she said in a statement to FOX411.
Civil rights attorney Ameer Benno, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said there are a few things that could happen if Gawker is proven to be behind the leak.
“If it was Hogan's adversary in litigation -- Gawker -- then the court has discretion to impose a range of sanctions against Gawker," Benno explained. "At one extreme, the court could strike Gawker's answer in the case, thereby awarding Hogan the equivalent of a default judgment. As a middle ground, the court could penalize Gawker by precluding it from introducing certain evidence or making certain arguments at trial in support of its defenses.”
According to the transcript published by Radar Online and the National Inquirer, Hogan said on the recording, referring to his daughter: "I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f--k some n----r, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n----r worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player...I guess we’re all a little racist. F--king n----r."
Houston said Hogan asked him to tell his fans that he is “devastated” by his past actions and “sincerely apologizes to his family, friends and fans.”
“He is not a racist,” said Houston. “His history defines him as something different.”