March 07, 2016
Tulane Law Professor Amy Gajda
Tulane Law Professor Amy Gajda, who's internationally known for her expertise on First Amendment issues, has been explaining the tensions between privacy and newsworthiness being explored in a Florida court in the legal skirmishing between former WWE champion Hulk Hogan and online publisher Gawker Media.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, is suing Gawker for posting a video of him having sex, and the case has raised questions about the scope of free speech, free press and privacy rights even for public figures.
Gajda has examined those same issues and other legal developments in the rapidly changing internet landscape in her book, The First Amendment Bubble: How Privacy and Paparazzi Threaten a Free Press.
She talked to The New York Times and Wired about the Gawker case. She also was quoted about the trial and verdict in The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, on "CBS This Morning" and by other news outlets. She also wrote opeds for The Times, New York Daily News and Slate.
A jury concluded in March that Gawker should pay Hogan $115 million in compensation and $25 million in punitive damages for invading his privacy. Gajda wrote in The Daily News that she believes legal precedent supports the verdict, though it could get overturned on appeal.
“My sense is that we need a line to protect privacy over others’ concept of news,” she wrote. “Sex tapes and nudity seem like fine places to start because who knows what publishing tomorrow brings.”
Note: This story was updated on March 29, 2016, to reflect the verdict and Gajda's subsequent commentary.