Gawker wasn’t the only company that Hogan would sue. In 2013, he filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Laser Spine Institute for $50 million. He cited that the medical firm persuaded him to undergo over ten unnecessary and ineffective spinal operations (his words) that did nothing to help his back problems – in fact, they very well could have worsened them.
He claimed the procedures only gave him short-term relief, and they resulted in him having to undergo traditional spinal fusion in 2010, allowing him to return to the ring. In addition, LSI used Hogan’s name on their advertisements without his permission.
A Dirty Mouth
For the next few years, Hogan jumped around from company to company and in 2015 he returned to the WWE as an ambassador. However, that June, that tricky little tape would resurface, this time with more audio. “National Enquirer” and “Radar Online” released audio of Hogan making numerous prejudiced comments on the tape while he was with Clem. Hogan apologized immediately. And it wasn't one of those wishy-washy celeb apologies where they're sorry people's feelings were hurt, either.
Hogan owned up that what he had done was unacceptable, and there was no excuse for it. Still, the WWE fired Hogan and scrubbed him from the organization's record books and Hall of Fame. It was a huge blow.
The Lawsuit Ramps Up
After losing his position at WWE, Hogan focused all of his attention on his lawsuit against Gawker. He was financially backed by billionaire Peter Thiel, who had his own issues with Gawker, and was able to pursue the case to the point of ruining Gawker. In March of 2016, Hogan won a $115 million judgment against the company. This was later settled down to $35 million in the same year.
The case, and the settlements, led to the ruin of Gawker. The case was much-discussed with many people wondering about the rights of the media to post news of this nature.
Working on His Image
After winning lawsuits left and right, Hogan had the cash he needed. Now it was time for him to get himself back into the public's good graces. After three years of being away from the WWE, he was able to come back in. This first relied on apologizing for the prejudice tirade.
The company first re-added him to their record books, then to their merchandise store, then they started bringing him back into the ring for short on-camera appearances. While Hogan's back and general health prevented him from displaying the same athleticism as before, he still got to participate in fights.
Hogan the Writer
He's been a wrestler, a singer, a reality TV star, a movie actor...what else is there to do? How about a writer? A pair of autobiographies give you the chance to understand the man better since it all comes straight from him. The first, “Hollywood Hulk Hogan,” came out in 2001, and purports to tell the reader about what makes him weep like a baby, his blood boil, and what scares the living hell out of him.
“My Life Outside the Ring,” which came out in 2009, adds more information, including the difficult moments such as his divorce and the car crash that his son Nick was in.