Hulk Hogan was “completely humiliated” after a secretly-recorded sex tape was published on a gossip website, a court heard on Monday.
The wrestling star is seeking $100million (£70million) in damages from Gawker, who leaked the footage of his romp with the wife of his then-best friend , radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge.
The court case will test celebrity privacy rights and freedom of the press in the digital age.
Hogan, 62, said the publication of the one-minute, 41-second clip of his consensual sex with Heather Clem deeply affected his personal and professional life.
“I was completely humiliated,” he said. “It was even embarrassing as my character. Hulk Hogan was embarrassed.”
Addressed in court by his legal name, Terry Bollea, the wrestler wore a signature bandana with a black suit and a cross necklace.
He referred to his Hulk Hogan character as “completely opposite” to his true personality, which he described as soft-spoken and non-argumentative.