TAMPA, Fla. — Hulk Hogan's $110 million lawsuit against the people he believes conspired to leak a secretly recorded sex video with Bubba Clem's wife has received a deluge of evidence from phone calls and text messages, according to an amended complaint.
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Over the past several months, Hogan's attorneys completed a time-consuming review of tens of thousands of pages of defendants Mike Calta's and Matthew Loyd's cell phone and text records, according to a recently filed motion. Cox Radio also produced numerous "confidential" documents.
One of those documents showed Cox Radio tried to reign-in the radio war between Calta and Bubba Clem, by charging them $1,200 if they talked about each other on the air.
Bubba on-air in his studio. (Josh Rojas, staff)
“Calta started an unbelievable flip on how he talked about us and regarded us and started attacking us and so I started attacking him," said Bubba. "It got so bad that Cox had to step in and say every utterance of you, and every utterance of you, even in a good way is going to be a $1,200 fine.”
Calta was hosting the afternoon drive time show at the time and Bubba was on the highly coveted morning show for Cox Radio. Loyd was Bubba's employee and got his own show on Cox Radio the same day a screen shot of the video was first leaked to The Dirty.
According to Tampa Police, Loyd stole the DVDs from the second floor of Bubba's new studio sometime between December of 2011 and January of 2012. Police said Loyd made copies of the DVDs and they began circulating at the Cox Radio studios in St. Petersburg.
“What did I ever do to that guy? Other than I hired a guy that was part of the Clearwater Goals Project, Clearwater High School... he was a drop out potential," said Bubba. "I don’t know what else I did to this guy. Why he’s so obsessed with ruining my life.”
Heather Clem, Bubba's former wife. (Bubba Clem)
Bubba said he had moved some of his personal items to the studio at that time because he was going through a bitter divorce with his wife, Heather.
Hogan's attorneys believe the defendants leaked the video multiple times to remove Bubba as competition and destroy his friendship with the former wrestling legend as payback.
"Hogan’s right, this is part of radio war that I was supposed to be arrested in and to propel him (Calta) to mornings, which it did and to Matt Loyd to afternoons, which it didn’t," said Bubba. "And cause me to lose my job, which it did but I didn’t get arrested.”
Bubba would've faced a criminal charge if the statute of limitations hadn't run out.
“I probably should’ve been," he said. "I got lucky that I didn’t get arrested.”
Hogan's attorneys stated the new records show communication between the defendants greatly increased during key times and around four different leaks of the video in 2012 to The Dirty, TMZ and Gawker, along with The National Enquirer in 2015.
Based on those records, Hogan's attorneys have asked a judge to bring Calta's agent, Tony Burton, and the company he works for, Don Buchwald & Associates, back into the lawsuit. They were dismissed as defendants in December of 2017, based on lack of personal jurisdiction because they're located in New York City and Burton asserted he virtually had no role in the leaks, according to a motion.
Evidence in the suit previously showed that Calta sent Burton a 'DVD details' email in March of 2012, that had a minute-by-minute rundown of two sex videos. According to the amended complaint, later that year in September, Burton e-mailed A.J. Daulerio, then Gawker's editor-in-chief, that he had "a client that has a very significant DVD they want to send you." Burton's "client" was Calta.
On October 2, 2012, Burton followed up with Daulerio to make sure that he received the 30 minute video. That same day, Burton and Calta had two calls and spoke for more than 32 minutes, according to the court records.
Hogans attorneys said Burton was an integral piece of conspiracy because of his role in trying to cover up leaking the footage to Daulerio by ensuring its sender and the conspiracy would be kept "anonymous." Burton also was aware of the animosity between Calta and Bubba and shared Calta's goal of getting Bubba out of the way of Calta's career, according to the suit.
“We hate each other because I fired him (Calta) in 2000 and he’s constantly tried to be me," said Bubba. "When you don’t have the talent that I do, then you can’t be me. So, what do you have to do? You have to get me fired, you have to get me ostracized from the business and quite frankly... he’s done a pretty damn good job at it.”
Bubba Clem and Hulk Hogan during friendlier times. (Bubba Clem)
Gawker posted the 1:41 minute Hogan sex video on October 4, 2012 and at least 7 million people watched it. That same day, Burton and Calta had 9 phone calls and talked for nearly 30 minutes and Loyd used an alias to direct message Daulerio, according to the suit.
Hogan sued Gawker and in March of 2016, a Pinellas jury awarded a $141 million verdict against Gawker. Following bankruptcy proceedings, Hogan settled with Gawker for $31 million. The suit claims Hogan's attorneys want to collect the remainder of the balance, $110 million, from the current defendants.
“I don’t understand how it’s survivable. I don’t understand how Mike Calta’s still there," Bubba said. "Other then they’re probably trying to keep him as an employee until this settles or is tried, so that they can control his testimony.”
We reached out to all the defendants' attorneys for comment but did not get a response. The defendants attorneys have previously stated they nor their clients can talk about the case while the lawsuit is pending.
The latest motions from Calta show his defense team is trying to fight back. During The National Enquirer leak, it was revealed that Hogan used racist language, including the 'N" word, while in bed with Heather Cole. Hogan promptly apologized for the racially insensitive language but the damage was done, all of his business contracts were terminated.
Calta's attorney filed a motion requesting Hogan admit that he used the "N" word in situations other than those captured in the video, in a radio interview with DJ Whoo Kid and regularly used it.
Bubba stumbled through an answer when we asked if he had ever heard Hogan use the "N" word, other than on the video.
"I don’t, I don’t, I mean, I don’t know how I can answer that because I think that we’ve all used words in our life,” he said. "I think everyone one of us has probably used maybe that word and other words.”
In another motion, Calta's attorneys are requesting Hogan release all of his medical and psychological records from the date he claimed to have first suffered economic and emotional injury based on the actions of the defendants.
Hogan's attorneys have subpoenaed the parent company of The National Enquirer, TMZ, Vivid Entertainment and Anthony Kotzev who worked for The Dirty, to find out what communications those entities had with the defendants.
As for Bubba, he said this entire ordeal has ruined his life but takes responsibility for the role he played in the sordid saga.
"I should’ve destroyed it or better yet, I should’ve never made it,” he said. "I’m done. I mean it’s ruined me... My moral compass at that time is far different than it is today.”
Bubba said he and Hogan were best friends for more than a decade and the celebrity former wrestler cut all communications in 2012, when the video first leaked.
A Hogan lawsuit court hearing will be held on Thursday, the trial is currently scheduled for 2020.