Coverage of the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker Media lawsuit has tended to focus on the First Amendment debate that began when the website posted his infamous sex tape in October 2012. That is certainly a conversation that needs to happen, but a very important story that should not get lost in the mix is what it means when a man refuses to take personal responsibility for his own actions.
For those who have been living under a rock for the past few years and know nothing of Hogan’s downfall, here is the abridged version of events:
- Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) apparently struck some weird sex deal with “Bubba The Love Sponge” Clem and the radio host’s then-wife Heather Cole.
- Video of the sexual encounters was secretly recorded.
- Footage was leaked to Gawker and posted online.
- A jury in Saint Petersburg, Florida, awarded Bollea $115 million last week.
- An extra $25 million in punitive damages was awarded to Bollea on Monday.
Most people are shedding no tears for Gawker given its reputation as a magnet for smarmy jerks, but I must admit I was saddened when I read Hogan’s text-message exchange with Clem.
The New York Post reported Monday:
“All I asked you for was an answer, why did u do this to me but I got nothing from u. Now I understand you [were] never my friend and there is nothing more you could ever do to hurt me! … Thanks for never being my friend and destroying my life. … You lie to me and . . . filmed everything that’s the only reason all of this is happening,” — Hulk Hogan, Oct. 12, 2012.
Note to Hulk Hogan: YOU — and only YOU — destroyed your life when you agreed to sleep with a married man’s wife.
For Mr. Bollea to say the “only” reason why his life was turned upside down was because Bubba “the love sponge” or possibly his then-wife sold the tape to Gawker is laughable. The wrester walks around with a gold cross around his neck, breaks one of the Ten Commandments, and then has the gall to blame someone else for his crumbling personal life.
Proverbs 6:32-34 states:
“But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away. For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.“
I was often teased about my general avoidance of clubs and my unwillingness to sleep around when I lived in Germany years ago. I looked at the soldiers who got 18-year-old girls they hardly knew pregnant and thought, “Is any orgasm worth that?” The answer was clear: No.
Likewise, the same question can be applied to sleeping with another man’s wife. “Is any orgasm worth the potential downfall?” Answer: No.
Hulk Hogan may have won well over a $115 million in a legal settlement with Gawker, but I suspect that deep down he will continue to feel rather miserable. He knows that he has lost the respect of millions of fans, especially those who grew up in the 80s watching him in his prime.
Money can buy a lot of things, but it can not buy back lost respect. I hope that Hogan pieces his life back together, but I predict that will not happen until he learns to accept personal responsibility for his actions.