CLEARWATER — Gawker, the celebrity gossip website that posted snippets of Hulk Hogan having sex with the then-wife of radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, is asking a judge for access to Clem's home to buttress its contention that Hogan knew he was being videotaped.
After Gawker ran a story on the liaison at Clem's St. Petersburg home on Oct. 4, 2012 — and posted video of some of it — Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued the website, claiming Gawker had violated his privacy.
Bollea said he did not know the liaison was being recorded.
Clem — whom Bollea also was suing — initially said Bollea knew the sex was being recorded. Clem also suggested Bollea might have had something to do with its release.
But then Bollea and Clem settled out of court, Bollea dropped his lawsuit against Clem, and Clem changed his story, according to the legal request filed by Gawker last week.
Clem then claimed Bollea didn't know of the videotaping, the request says.
“Clem made a complete and very public about-face,” the request says.
To show that Bollea did know, Gawker wants a Pinellas judge to allow access to Clem's home, and to videotape Clem's video surveillance and recording equipment. This would help Gawker defend itself against Bollea's lawsuit, its legal request states.
“Specifically, such evidence — including for example that the cameras were visible and known to Mr. Bollea — is directly related to Gawker's contention that Mr. Bollea could not have been unaware that the sexual encounter at issue was being recorded,” the legal action states.
“This is particularly true because Mr. Bollea — who at all relevant times and by all accounts was Clem's very close friend — lived for an extended period in the Clem residence and almost certainly was aware of Clem's surveillance or recording equipment or system installed or utilized in Clem's residence,” it states.
Gawker wants to know whether the cameras in the bedroom where the two had sex were concealed, and to what extent other cameras were concealed.
Gawker, which says it got a copy of the sex tape from an anonymous source, says Clem can be heard at the beginning of it egging on the two, telling them to “do [their] thing,” Gawker's request says.
Clem and his then-wife, Heather, have since divorced.