Now that they've had their day—two weeks actually—in court, Hulk Hogan and Nick Denton are taking their fight to the court of public opinion. The former professional wrestler pummeled Gawker in a Florida courtroom as a jury awarded the wrestler in excess of $140 million for the pain he suffered when Gawker published a grainy 2007 clip of Hogan, or really Terry Bollea, having sex with his best friend's wife.
Tuesday afternoon, Denton penned a lengthy and scathing rebuttal, his first public comments since the trial. "It was as staged as a professional wrestling bout, with victory of the crowd favorite over the 'deviant' bloggers," he wrote. "It turns out this case was never about the sex on the tape Gawker received, but about racist language on another, unpublished tape that threatened Hogan's reputation and career."
Today, both Hogan and Denton continued their bout on TV: Hogan appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and The View, and Denton went on CNBC's Squawk Box.
On The View, Hogan called Gawker "the ultimate bully" and said, "If they're going to practice what they call journalism that way, they should be out of business, no question." He also seemed to be aware that he might never see any of that $140 million. "It's just a piece of paper," he said. "They'll appeal it and do whatever they have to do for years and years and years."
Hogan also told the New York Post that Denton "scared the hell out of me."
In his CNBC appearance, Denton continued his refrain that the sex tape was newsworthy. "You had a major celebrity who had talked incessantly about his sex life," Denton told Squawk Box co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin. "After the sex tape came out, he was joking about it."
Denton said he expects Gawker's appeal to continue for a year. "I'm not a big professional wrestling fan, but I understand that there are many rounds," he said. "This was one of those several rounds. There are still a few more to go."
Denton will also tell his story Thursday on The View.
A judgment hearing, during which Gawker will argue the $140 million award should be reduced, is expected in May.