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Hulk Hogan wins Round 1 of the appeals fight against Gawker

But Gawker's plan is to win Round 2.

Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea
John Pendygraft / Getty

A Florida state judge today upheld the $140 million jury verdict against Gawker Media for publishing Hulk Hogan's sex tape.

It was never really expected that this judge, Pamela Campbell, who presided over the trial, was going to rule against Hogan (real name, Terry Bollea). Gawker has long said it planned to appeal the jury verdict to Florida's Second District Appeals Court, where it is confident it will win.

The company said that it would have a statement ready once Wednesday's legal proceedings were fully over (Update: We've appended their statement below).

Hogan/Bollea lawyer David Houston provided Recode with the following statement:

The court today denied Gawker's request for a new trial and to reduce damages. Plaintiff Bollea believes rightfully so. Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism. Their refusal to accept responsibility for their conduct and denial of the obvious continues to drive their litigation strategy.

The ruling comes the day after Forbes broke the story that tech billionaire Peter Thiel, who was identified as gay by Gawker's Valleywag about seven years ago, was helping Hogan fund his lawsuits against Gawker.

Update: And here's Gawker's statement, which predictably mentions the Thiel report. The statement ties the recent Gizmodo report alleging anti-conservative bias at Facebook, to Thiel's Facebook board seat:

We look forward to the legal process continuing and expect to be vindicated. Just days after Gawker Media’s site Gizmodo exposed that Facebook’s news section has suppressed certain points of view, we’ve now learned that a Facebook board member and a major funder of The Committee to Protect Journalists has been secretly funding a legal campaign against our journalists. There are very serious questions about whether Hulk Hogan financially benefitted and this case is far from over.

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