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Hulk Hogan's privacy invasion case: Will it be appealed?

Perhaps you've heard of or have been following the legal case pitting professional wrestling icon Hulk Hogan and a media company that went online with a sex-related video of Hogan and another man's spouse that took place several years ago.

The wrestler sued that company -- a media and celebrity-focused outlet called Gawker -- for invasion of privacy, and was recently awarded a huge money judgment by a Florida jury.

Cases like Hogan's -- that is, matters involving well-known celebrities who allege privacy intrusions, defamation and other reputational-based torts -- are of course anything but rarities in Los Angeles, where the entertainment industry reigns supreme. A case like Hogan's understandably commands attention across Southern California, and we duly report relevant details.

Gawker was reportedly hit with a stunning $140 million judgment, which the company states could now bankrupt it.

That precarious position has prompted action by the company First Look Media. Pierre Omidyar, billionaire eBay founder and First Look owner, recently entered the Hogan/Gawker fray by stating that he will solicit support from various media groups aimed at helping Gawker secure and argue the judgment against it in an appellate action.

Hogan's camp has portrayed the matter in narrow terms, namely, as a wrongful intrusion into his private affairs. A spokesperson for First Look counters that the case "is about press freedom principles upon which our country was founded."

Put another way, as noted recently in one national news outlet, First Look is seeking "to turn the issue into a First Amendment rights case."

Reportedly, Hogan's case was financed in part by another billionaire, PayPal co-founder and investor Peter Thiel, who was publicly identified by Gawker as being gay.

Thiel denies that his motive for bankrolling Hogan with $10 million was solely revenge-driven , stating that it was more about stopping entities engaged in bullying people "when there was no connection with the public interest."

Bullying, privacy expectations, freedom of speech … all these subjects and more are prominently factored into the case and its potential appeal. We will keep readers duly posted.

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