GAWKER EDITOR SAYS, IN COURT, THAT HE WOULD ONLY LIMIT PEDO SEX TAPES TO “FOUR YEARS OLD”. JURY IRKED!
By Julia Marsh and Yaron Steinbuch
Jurors in Hulk Hogan’s sex video trial on Wednesday heard a videotaped deposition of Gawker’s former editor in chief — saying he’d draw the line at posting the sex tape of a celebrity who is under 4 years old.
A.J. Daulerio, 41, was sitting ramrod straight in the Florida courtroom during the awkward moment when he was asked on video by Hogan’s lawyer, “Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?”
Daulerio answered flatly, “If they were a child.”
“Under what age?” attorney Charles Harder asked.
“Four,” he said.
“No four-year-old sex tapes, OK,” Harder said.
A Gawker spokesman later insisted Daulerio was being flippant.
“He’d just said in the prior answer that that he wouldn’t post a tape of a child and when the question was repeated he obviously made the point in a flip way because his answer was already clear,” the spokesman said.
Daulerio, who looked bored throughout the grilling, wiping his eyes and resting his hand on his chin, also claimed he would have no problem if his own hypothetical sex tape was published.
Modal Trigger Photo: Splash News
“It wouldn’t upset you in any way to have your sexual encounters appear on the Internet?” he was asked.
“I somewhat expect that to happen at some point,” Daulerio said.
During Day 3 of the trial, jurors seemed distressed by Daulerio’s cavalier attitude about posting the sex tape.
One male juror squinted his eyes, pursed his lips and leaned back in his chair while a female juror kept her arms crossed then jotted down notes.
A third woman looked down during parts of the testimony as Daulerio sat next to Gawker founder Nick Denton in the front row.
On the opposite side sat Hogan, wearing a pinstripe suit and his trademark black bandanna on his head.
Daulerio said he first heard about the sex video when it was a story on TMZ in March 2012. He said that in early October 2012, he received an actual copy of the full, 30-minute video from a source.
“I watched it and watched it one or two times and then, then decided whether or not we are going to publish some of the contents of it, and was discussing how we could possibly share some of the contents of it, and was discussing how we could possibly share some of the footage on Gawker.com,” he said.
He said he turned the tape over to his video editor and “selected various spots of the tape that I considered both newsworthy in the context of our story and had her twiddle it down to whatever the time frame was, I believe it was close to two minutes of footage.”
He said he wanted to verify that Hogan and Heather Clem – then-wife of Hogan’s former best pal Bubba the Love Sponge Clem – “were actually having sex, so I believe we did small snippets of those two having intercourse.”
Daulerio went on to say that he found the video “very amusing” and “newsworthy” – and would be “somewhat popular” on the site.
“Did you give any consideration prior to Oct. 4, 2012, as to whether publishing the Hulk Hogan sex tape would distress Hulk Hogan,” the lawyer asked.
“No,” he answered.
“You didn’t care, really, did you?” Harder asked.
“No,” he said again.
“Had you known that Hulk Hogan would be emotionally distressed by this publication you would have still published it, correct?” he was asked.
“Sure, yes,” Daulerio said.
Harder also showed an email from Denton that said Daulerio “breaks all the rules of orthodox management.”
“Is that a positive thing?” Harder asked Daulerio.
“I don’t know the exact answer to that but I would assume yes, he enjoyed me breaking the rules of orthodox management,” Daulerio said.
Harder read the jury a paragraph from a 2011 GQ profile of Daulerio when he was the head of Gawker’s brother sports site Deadspin.
It said: “His tactics -— reporting rumors, paying for news and making Deadspin’s money on stories that are really about sex, not sports — are questionable. His success is not. When he became editor of the site in July 2008, it had 700,000 readers per month. Today it has 2.3 million.”
The pseudo-journalist also admitted to paying $12,000 for photos of now-retired NFL player Brett Favre’s penis.
He said he didn’t consider the 2012 publication of Duchess Kate Middleton’s naked breasts an “invasion of privacy” because “she’s a public figure” and thought the size of Hogan’s penis was “newsworthy.”
In later testimony, Hogan’s longtime attorney David Houston said the sex tape spread like a cancer online after Gawker posted it in October 2012.
Questioned by Harder, Houston said he zeroed in on tracking down the culprit responsible for making the video after TMZ first reported its existence in March 2012.
He described why he and Hogan went on TMZ Live at that time to talk about the tape
“If it were a sex tape out there I felt it incumbent upon me as counsel to try to find it and essentially put a bullet in it,” Houston said.
In a clip played for the jury, Hogan said that he didn’t know who the woman was because “the truth is it wasn’t just one brunette … I was running pretty wild there for a few months.”
“The purpose naturally was to announce if anyone goes forward with this thing we’re going to find him and we’re going to prosecute him,” Houston said. “At that point we were desperate for knowledge.”
Two porn sites reached out to Hogan to buy the steamy footage – Vivid.com and Sex.com.
Vivid’s letter said: “We understand that you believe this tape was filmed without your permission. Whatever the case we would still like to dis the opportunity to work together as we feel this would be one of the best selling celerity sex tapes of all time.”
Sex.com’s letter said: “We are truly serious about working with you. This isn’t some shameless press opportunity, we have an open check book.”
“We want no part in the dissemination, we weren’t in this to sell the sex tape,” Houston said.
He said he first saw the tape at Gawker.
“I saw a video depicting my client having sex, oral sex, standard sexual intercourse, took great pains to display his penis and even went so far as to demonstrate what everyone was saying to each other in that tape by virtue of incorporating subtitles,” he said.
Houston pleaded with Denton in an email a day after the tape was published.
“I’m asking you, please, as a fellow human being, to take down the video,” he said.
Houston said he sent 60 cease-and-desist letters asking various Web sites to remove the video.
The former pro wrestler, whose given name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker Media for $100 million for posting an edited version of the sex video.
Gawker is defending the publication by arguing that Hogan had talked openly about his sex life before, including on Howard Stern’s radio show.
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