Tampa Bay - When former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan goes to trial here next week against Gawker, the New York-based news website, he will be called by his real name, Terry Gene Bollea. That order came from a Pinellas judge on Monday at the request of Bollea’s attorneys, who are representing him in his effort to win $100 million in damages from Gawker for publishing an excerpt of his sex tape in 2012. But that should not stand in the way of jurors knowing who he is. Aside from his trademark mustache and white shoulder-length hair, Bollea will be allowed to wear part of his Hulk Hogan costume to court. Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell said on Monday that she will permit him one “plain bandana,” presumably ruling out the varieties for sale at his Clearwater Beach gift shop, emblazoned with the words “Hulkamania” and “Hulk Still Rules.” Bollea’s case against Gawker has been winding its way through the courts here for more than two years, and a two-week trial has been scheduled to begin in St. Petersburg next Monday. At its core, it’s a case about whether Gawker’s decision to publish one minute and 41 seconds of a roughly 30-minute sex tape violated Bollea’s right to privacy.
I think the biggest story here is Hulk Hogan never legally changed his name to Hulk Hogan. Terry Bollea? Get outta here. But it is hilarious that the judge had to specify that they are to refer to him as his actual name and not as Hulk Hogan, as well as the fact she approved his request to wear a bandana in court. You have to assume Hulk Hogan is a lot like Cobb in Inception (or a certain Internet mogul) at this point, he truly can’t separate his fake life from reality. He was the Hulkster for so long that he just turned into him, and Terry Bollea died.
As far as the lawsuit itself, I think I’m supposed to be rooting for the bloggers here. Can’t even publish a couple minutes of a sex tape without getting sued for 100 million dollars anymore? What if the sex tape includes aquatic animals and young boys facefucking it? Remember that? Bad times, you guys. Bad times.