It’s hard to pin a precise estimate on Hulk Hogan’s net worth now that he has won the suit against Gawker. The $140 million awarded to Hogan for privacy infringement (among other charges) certainly ups his current net worth. But it is likely that Hogan is months away from seeing any of that money as Gawker will surely extend the process through appeals.
As of now, Hulk Hogan’s net worth is estimated to be as high as $25 million but is probably closer to $8 million. Those earnings are largely related to the name he’s been able to build for himself as a former WWF/WWE wrestler and the branding opportunities he’s created off that name. He also owns a Florida mansion reported to be worth approximately $3 million and has yearly endorsements in the million-dollar range.
Hogan, of course, first made his name as probably the most popular wrestler in WWF (later called WWE) history with the work he put in during the ‘80s and ‘90s. He endeared himself to the masses by being a 12-time WWE champion and a back-to-back Royal Rumble champion in 1990 and 1991.
It is reported that Hogan made approximately $20 million in salary from 1980 until 2011—the 30 years he spent in the WWF/WWE. In his early wrestling years, when he was at the peak of his popularity, it’s recorded that some 30 million viewers tuned in to Pay-Per-View to watch his classic matches, including his most talked about victory over Andre the Giant.
Hogan, born Terry Bollea, was able to leverage his surge in popularity into some cool movie and TV appearances. Most notable of which was his role in Rocky III and a three-year stint in the TV series Thunder in Paradise.
Down but Not Out
Much of that would end when Hulk’s wife Linda Hogan filed for divorce in 2007. The proceedings lasted four years and settlements weren’t reached till 2011, but this is one of the few battles Hogan wasn’t able to win. His very public divorce ended with Hogan losing 70% of his assets. At the time, he was believed to be worth in the range of $30 million.
Hogan admitted that the divorce nearly sent him into bankruptcy, and he later had to sell his $16 million mansion for half of its worth. Hogan also conceded that much of his financial troubles happened long before his divorce. He said he blew hundreds of millions while at the height of his pro wrestling career. He said homes, cars, and vacations were the main culprit.
However, the Hogan brand is strong, and Hogan has been able to fight his way back to a very respectable $8 million dollar net worth. A fair portion of that comes through merchandising from the Hogan brand, along with other business and real estate ventures.
Gawker Net Worth
With the $140 million Gawker has to pay out to Hogan, you’d hope the gossip site has some savings in the bank to keep from drowning. Well it does. Business Insider puts the Gawker net worth at about $250 million. That’s from the approximately $44 million it makes yearly, which puts it in a pretty high tax bracket.
E-commerce is the driving force behind Gawker’s revenue. The Wall Street Journal puts Gawker’s 2014 e-commerce revenue at $100 million; this translates into $10 million net on top of $35 million in traditional advertising. For Gawker, 2015 was a banner year as the news web site saw gross e-commerce sales escalate to $150,000 million, giving it a double-digit revenue growth for the tenth straight year.
But even for Gawker, $140 million is a lot to pay out. Founder Nick Denton is personally responsible for $10 million of that amount as a result of punitive damages. Although Gawker has already started the appeals process, it may still have to pay a $50 million bond in accordance with Florida law. The judge does have the discretion to reduce or waive the bond, which will be announced shortly.
Denton took to Twitter to say that Gawker ultimately expects to win the case; nevertheless, we’ll keep our ears open for any word on what the courts decide next.