The Hulk Hogan v. Gawker trial is now halfway through week two of proceedings. The case, which centers around the gossip website’s publishing of Hogan’s sex tape, has been full of surprising twists and turns, during which the jury has been patiently listening to testimonies while trying not to hurl all over the floor.
Gawker founder Nick Denton was called to the stand earlier this week, at which time he was ordered to read excerpts from his site’s graphic account of Hogan’s sex tape with friend Bubba the Love Sponge’s wife, Heather Clem. The jury listened intently while desperately imagining themselves anywhere else, trying their best not to spew chunks.
This proved especially difficult when Denton discussed how “[Hogan had] just eaten ten minutes before he got there and ‘felt like a pig.’” Amazingly, and with astounding effort, 12 gag reflexes had been contained by the end of the testimony.
Though the former wrestler maintains that he didn’t know he was being filmed at the time, this provided little comfort to the jurors. “Why couldn’t we have gotten a double homicide or a public defecation charge? You know, something a little easier to stomach,” opined one member.
Though lawyers claim that they have no intentions of showing the sex tape in the courtroom, many jurors lament that this has done little to assuage the battery their imaginations have taken. “Honestly,” said another, “whatever is on that tape can’t be worse than what I’m imagining. Right now, anything is possible. I’d actually prefer to narrow it down to a finite number of things Hulk Hogan attempted during sex.”
“Also, did the woman have to be married to someone named ‘Bubba the Love Sponge’?” he added. “That name certainly isn’t helping me not violently ralph everywhere.”
The case is raising many questions about First Amendment rights and transparency in the age of the Internet, as well as significant queries concerning how long we should expect people to not violently upchuck while being forced to seriously consider the details of a man the size of a horse with a bleached handlebar mustache breathing his lunch all over his sex partner.
“I don’t know how much longer I’m gonna be able to make it through this trial,” bemoaned a third juror. “Being away from my family is nothing compared to holding back vom while I hear about Hulk Hogan asking for a ‘rubber.’”
In one particularly controversial moment, the judge asked a female Gawker editor if she had slept with her bosses before. While the question has been widely criticized for its sexist implication, jury members said it was a welcome break to think of people having sex that aren’t Hulk Hogan.