The fourth day of the Hulk Hogan vs Gawker trial yesterday consisted mostly of the cross-examination of one of Hogan’s paid expert witnesses, Michael Foley from the University of Florida who is a professor in journalism.
It was not a particularly good day for Hogan’s camp as Foley was smashed on the witness stand by Gawker’s attorney, who pretty much labeled Foley as an old school guy who has no idea on new media and who has not worked for a newspaper for over 20 years. Foley was also caught when he said no news outlet would show the Hogan video and Gawker’s lawyer fired back saying that ABC News showed a clip.
The trial entered its fifth day today with Hogan’s expert witness, Shanti Shunn, a digital marketing expert, testifying first. He said that the Hogan sex tape was viewed almost 4,500,000 times. Shunn fumbled when in cross-examination he said that he’s not sure if the numbers he quotes were page views or unique viewers. When asked by Gawker’s attorney if he simply doesn’t know how many people watched the video on Gawker, Shunn said, “Not really.” According to reporters on site covering the trial, Shunn is being paid $550 an hour to testify on behalf of the Hulkster.
Jeff Anderson – the Director of Valuation & Analytics at CONSOR, an intellectual asset consulting firm specializing in trademark, patent and copyright licensing, valuations, and expert testimony – also took the witness stand. Anderson was brought in to evaluate the worth of Gawker after they published the Hogan sex tape.
Anderson said that Gawker benefited from an approximate $15 million increase when they published the tape and estimated that the fair market value for Gawker.com is around $286 million. Anderson was a much better witness for the Hogan team than Foley or Shunn and seemed to be very direct and knew what he was talking about when he was explaining how they came to the conclusion of all the numbers.
The trial is still going on at time of this writing.