The Hulkster also shall not be referred to as "Hulkster," or even "Hulk Hogan," Judge Pamela Campbell ruled last week. Instead, the plaintiff shall be referred to by his real name, Terry Gene Bollea, during the trial of his case against Gawker for publishing a two-minute excerpt of a sex tape featuring Mr. Bollea and his former best friend's wife.
Bollea is seeking $100 million in damages for the alleged breach of privacy, or something.
The Tampa Bay Times report says that the Hulkster sought the order requiring the use of his real name, which I would assume is part of an effort to make him appear more serious and respectable during the proceedings.
But the report also says that the judge "will permit him [only] one 'plain bandana,'" which of course suggests that he might have been planning to wear something more elaborate, like this "Hulk Still Rules" example. That's not really consistent with my assumption. But maybe Gawker asked to preclude such attire on the grounds that, for example, it might lead the jury to believe wrongly that Hulk does, in fact, still rule in some legally significant way. If so, it won on that one.
Along with these important rulings, the judge also cautioned the parties that she expects civility to prevail once the trial begins. "This is not going to be a carnival," she insisted several times, which is technically true–it will be just the freak show part.
The carnival trial had been scheduled for this week, but last Thursday an appellate panel agreed with Gawker that it would have to be postponed for technical procedural reasons. Gawker wanted the delay in part because it had been distracted by its fight to obtain evidence the FBI collected in its investigation of the matter. You may well be asking why the FBI was investigating the matter, and if you did the answer would be that there supposedly was an extortion attempt against Mr. Bollea. That wouldn't answer your question, of course. Maybe the suspect had a Muslim-sounding name?
Anyway, Gawker now argues that there are problems with the three, yes, three videos that the FBI turned over. Gawker claims that one of the DVDs is "incomplete," while another played normally for 15 minutes before suddenly switching, "at a key moment," to something else.
What the "key moment" might have been is only one of the many details I hope never to learn.