Attorneys for Terry Bollea, former WWE star Hulk Hogan, have filed an emergency order on Thursday to keep court documents sealed.
The legal move comes after leaked transcripts of alleged racist rants by Mr Bollea surfaced online. The WWE then cut all ties with the former superstar, ending his 38-year professional wrestling career, as well as erasing him from their website and promotional materials.
NEW: Hulk Hogan in St. Pete court vs. Gawker ~ Hogan (Bollea) says Gawker leaked tapes w/his racist slurs pre-trial pic.twitter.com/l1aldMiThq— CarsonChambers (@CarsonChambers) July 30, 2015
Mr Bollea’s attorneys have accused Gawker of releasing the transcripts to the National Enquirer to “publicly destroy” the troubled entertainer.
However, Gawker’s President Heather Dietrick disputed the claim to WFLA: “Hulk Hogan has only one person to blame for what he said and no one from Gawker had any role in leaking that information.”
“There are, your honor, a long list of people who knew about Mr Bollea’s use of racist language long before Gawker learned about it,” she said during the court’s proceedings.
Mr Bollea is currently pursuing a $100 million lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing a sex tape he filmed with the ex-wife of radio personality Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem.
“My client has no where else to go. You are literally his only hope to justice,” Mr Bollea's attorney said.
The emergency hearing began at 10am at the Sixth Circuit court in St Petersburg, Florida. The circuit judge expedited the trial setting a court date for 7 March 2016. A pre-trial will also take place on 16 February.