“Watcha Gonna Do Gawker?” Hogan said on Twitter, aping a line he used to direct at his foes inside the ring.
He was less animated once jury selection began on Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida. Hogan is suing Gawker Media, the company’s founder and a former editor for publishing a portion of his sex tape in 2012.
Hogan was dressed in all black, including a black bandana. (A judge had previously ruled that he could wear his trademark bandana as long as it was of a single color.) He also wore a gold cross around his neck,
Hogan spent most of his time leafing through a deposition booklet. Seated about 15 feet away were two of the defendants: Gawker founder Nick Denton and the site’s former editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio, who posted the sex tape excerpts in 2012.
Much of the day was spent winnowing the 500 prospective jurors who were summoned to the courthouse. Despite having a celebrity at the center of the case, most of those assembled here at the Pinellas County Judicial Building weren’t excited about serving.
A collective groan arose when Judge Pamela Campbell said that the trial is expected to last about three weeks. The vast majority of prospective jurors tried to claim a hardship that would preclude them from serving.
The jury will come from the plaintiff’s backyard. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, grew up across the bay in Tampa.
Those who indicated that they could serve on the jury were given a 12-page questionnaire covering biographical details, as well as their knowledge of the parties involved in the case.
One question came with a warning:
“This case involves images depicting sex and nudity, and the use of profanity. Would receiving and viewing this type of content affect your ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror in this case?”
Jury selection will resume on Wednesday.