Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan is speaking out about the $145 million he recently won as a result of a lawsuit against Gawker, defending himself from Gawker CEO Nick Denton’s threats to appeal, and his desire to return to World Wrestling Entertainment.
“It wasn’t the money for me,” Hogan said about why he wanted to take Gawker to court for their decision to publish a sex tape featuring the 62-year-old wrestling icon without his permission.
“I knew if I had done something to settle, I would be unhappy,” the Hulkster confessed. “Because I knew what the truth was. And I knew how it devastated me. It still makes me cower and not be the ‘Hulk Hogan’ I used to be. When I leave my house and I meet people, what do they think? Did they see the tape? What do the kids think?”
After the grueling testimony was over, Hogan tweeted his glee in classic Hulk fashion:
Thank you God,I am grateful,"I AM THAT I AM". Only love HH pic.twitter.com/Y5R42C4EF7
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 22, 2016
The former professional wrestling champion also addressed footage showing him using racial slurs, to which he responded, “I’m not a racist.”
“That one moment doesn’t define me,” Hogan said. “That’s not who I am.”
Hogan also says he couldn’t care less if Gawker founder and CEO Nick Denton moves forward with an appeal.
“If there’s an appeal and they win, come what may, I’m fine,” Hogan said. “All I wanted was to let everyone know what Gawker’s all about and what they do to destroy lives.”
Denton was ordered to pay an additional $10 million to Hogan in damages.
“The good part is my fans, my kids, my wife Jennifer, the people that know me, know who I am, and the whole WWE universe — the fan base — they know who I am,” Hogan said. “And for the people that don’t know who I am hopefully by apologizing and being accountable, and over time hopefully I can win people back.”
On what’s next, Hogan says “wrestling has always been my life, and the whole thing was erased and taken away from me. I understand they had to do what was best for business in this case but at the end of the day, they know I’m not a racist.”
“They’ve known me for 35 years,” he added. “They know who I am. I made a dumb mistake, did something horrible that I’ll forever regret, but if I had a chance to ever come back home to WWE, the first thing I’d love to do is punch Vince McMahon right in the nose. That would be a dream come true.”