When former wrestler Hulk Hogan was awarded $115 million by a starry-eyed jury last week, many observers assumed he would get the $115 million outright. But according to legal experts, Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, may only see a fraction of the $115 million — if that.
Bollea, 62, was awarded $115 million in a case against the media company that owns the blog Gawker.com. He filed the case in 2012 after Gawker leaked a video showing him having sex with the wife of his best friend, a radio DJ. The video also exposed Bollea’s virulent racism toward black people.
He lost his wrestling contract and sponsorships as a result of the video.
Gawker Media plans to file an appeal, and the judgment will likely be overturned or thrown out of court completely if an appeals court decides the jury was wrong to award $115 million for a nine-second video.
That leaves room for Bollea and Gawker Media to reach a settlement out-of-court. If a settlement is reached, Bollea will likely walk away with $20-$30 million after taxes. Lawyer fees and accounting fees will chip away at what’s left over after taxes.
“This is a very large verdict and it’s going to have to be appealed,” attorney Troy Slaten tells E! News. “In this case, Gawker… is going to appeal and they will have to put up a bond for $50 million, in case they lose and that money is there for Bollea.”
He added: “That is one of the most difficult things in a lawsuit. You can win a judgment, but that doesn’t mean the money just automatically flows into your bank account… He will not see the money for a while — even years.”