The Tampa Bay Times reports that the 2nd District Court of Appeal said that a temporary order banning Gawker.com from posting clips of Hulk Hogan’s sex tape should be reversed. Gawker wrote about and posted the video of Hogan and Heather Clem, the ex-wife of Bubba the Love Sponge, which was recorded without Hogan’s knowledge.
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell ruled in April 2013 that Gawker should remove the video and the written description. Gawker filed for an appeal.
The appeals court rules that under the First Amendment (the right to free speech), there are only narrow circumstances when someone can be ordered not to publish something. Because of the publicity of the sex tape, which was “exacerbated” by Hogan, the clips and report “address matters of public concern.”
The court ruled: “Mr. Bollea failed to meet the heavy burden to overcome the presumption that the temporary injunction is invalid as an unconstitutional prior restraint under the First Amendment.”