Hulk Hogan felt “humanized” after winning his invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker in 2016, according to his daughter Brooke Hogan.
The 63-year-old wrestling legend was awarded $115 million in March 2016 after he successfully sued Gawker Media for defamation, loss of privacy, and emotional pain for the company’s decision in 2012 to post a clip online of a secretly recorded sex tape featuring Hulk and Heather Clem, the ex-wife of his former pal radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge.
During the legal process, Hulk’s reputation was damaged when a transcript of audio from the tape was released featuring him using the ‘N-word’ whilst discussing a now-former boyfriend of Brooke’s and he was released from his contract with WWE.
The ‘Rocky III’ held himself accountable for using the inappropriate language and made a public apology for saying that word back in 2007 when the tape was made, a period in Hulk’s life when he had been suffering from depression in the wake of his wife Linda Hogan filing for divorce and had contemplated suicide.
Brooke, 28, admits the ordeal was very tough on her father but the case allowed the public to learn more about the situation her dad was in.
She shared: “It was very tough on him. It was very sad to see him so screwed up because I know none of us are perfect.”
In the midst of the legal case, the blonde beauty reassured her father that he had earned the trust of his loyal fans after years in the spotlight, and the sex tape was not going to permanently taint his reputation.
Brooke told The Hollywood Reporter: “I said, ‘Dad, no matter how crazy the press is, the public and your fans, they’re not stupid. They know your heart and who you are.’ ”
And while Brooke has refused to specifically discuss her father’s ultimate settlement with Gawker – which is rumoured to be worth $31 million – she insisted he “persevered, and always took the high road and was accountable, and I respect and honour him for that”.
More recently, Hulk – whose real name is Terry Bollea – has turned his attention towards Brooke’s burgeoning TV career, which has seen her become the host of the reality TV series ‘The Fashion Hero’.
The Canadian produced series is currently being shopped to international buyers and the wrestling legend has even asked to be a contestant on her show.
Brooke revealed: “I said, ‘Dad, you can’t model,’ even though he could as he models his own T-shirts. But that’s enough.”
But Brooke admitted her father’s positive outlook has been a huge help to her throughout her life – especially during her difficult teenage years.
She explained: “I’m Italian. Most of my family is severely over-weight. It’s been taxing to keep my weight under control. I also had really bad skin and I wasn’t popular.
“He [Hulk] was always a horse of a different colour. He was tanned and blond and from Venice Beach. And people assumed he was a big, loud, screaming monster. But the cool thing is he used his platform for good. He knew he was impacting impressionable minds. So he told young kids to train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins.”