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Gawker doesn't get a do-over in Hulk Hogan trial

A Florida judge rules there won't be a retrial or a reduction in the $140 million verdict awarded to the wrestler in a sex-tape case. But Gawker likely will appeal the decision.

Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, testifies in court during his trial against Gawker Media in March.​

Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, testifies in court during his trial against Gawker Media in March.

Getty Images

There are no second chances for Gawker in its battle with Hulk Hogan, at least not right now.

A Florida judge on Wednesday denied Gawker's motion for a new trial and said she wouldn't reduce the $140 million jury verdict.

The ruling deals a blow to the media gossip website founded by Nick Denton. Hogan, a wrestler whose real name is Terry Bollea, won the large verdict in a Florida jury trial in March after claiming Gawker violated his privacy in 2012 when it published a sex tape involving him and the now-estranged wife of a friend.

"Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism," David Houston, one of Hogan's litigation lawyers, said Wednesday in a statement. "Their refusal to accept responsibility for their conduct and denial of the obvious continues to drive their litigation strategy."

Gawker will likely appeal the ruling, which means this long-running battle isn't over yet.

The company in a statement referenced reports that venture capitalist Peter Thiel has funded Hogan's legal fight:

"We look forward to the legal process continuing and expect to be vindicated. Just days after Gawker Media's site Gizmodo exposed that Facebook's news section has suppressed certain points of view, we've now learned that a Facebook board member and a major funder of The Committee to Protect Journalists has been secretly funding a legal campaign against our journalists. There are very serious questions about whether Hulk Hogan financially benefitted, and this case is far from over."

The Associated Press earlier reported the news.

Update, 11 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Hogan's attorney.

Update, 3 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Gawker.