[ cheers and applause ] this is "nightline." >> tonight, the $100 million sex tape lawsuit. >> whoever wants to see the size of your penis -- >> hulk hogan suing gawker for publishing this secretly recorded video. the former wrestler famous for his signature moves in the ring is taking on a new opponent. we are inside the courthouse as the legal battle begins. and from hollywood to the white house. the love story that defined the life of nancy reagan. she was a force in public and behind the scenes.
president reagan without his wife? >> doing everything we can. >> doing everything we can. >> tonight the decades of love letters that captured their unbreakable bond. first the "nightline 5." >> if you have allergy congestion muddling through your morning is nothing new. your nose is the only thing on your mind. and to get relief, anything is fair game. introducing rhinocort allergy spray. powerful relief from your most frustrating allergy symptoms all day and all night. hasn't your nose been through enough already?
many of us, myself included, remember watching hulk hogan's exploits in the ring as a pro wrestler. but today we saw him fighting in an entirely different arena, in cort, on the stand, taking on the website gawker over a sex tape. it's a sensational trial and abc's linzie janis was right there. >> whoever wants to have sex with you -- it started out like that. >> reporter: it's not often a trial with such precedent-setting implications. >> heather started walking in the bedroom, pull ambiguous hand. >> reporter: also so scandalous. >> and bubba walked in right behind us, okay, you guys, i'm going to go to my office, here's a condom. >> reporter: wwe superstar hulk hogan, whose real name is terry belea, took the stand suit in his lawsuit against gawker. >> going to fying?
>> reporter: he's suing the site for posting a 2007 tape of him having sex with eth heather klem, wife of his best friend. he's claiming he didn't know he was being filmed. this isn't the first time a celebrity sex tape has been leaked. pam anderson. paris hilton. kim kardashian. have all seen tapes get out. but it's the first time one of these cases has ever gotten to trial. at stake, says gawker, could be serious first amendment issues. it all began while hogan was shooting his reality show "hogan knows best." he says he and his wife linda began to drift apart. but he had a friend who he says always had his back. >> he was holding my father as my father passed away. there was never any question of, you know, who he was or what he meant to me.
klem, a popular shock jock in florida known to his fans as the love sponge. now hogan says his best friend proposed an unusual method to make him forget his troubles. >> heather wants to have sex with you, heather wants to see the size of your penis. it started out like that. wife. >> what did klem ask you and do you recall what your answer was? >> i said i would. >> reporter: hogan initially laughed it off. >> i knew they had an open marriage because he talked about it on the radio. i thought with me it was so many times they talked about it, it kind of turned into a joke. >> reporter: at his lowest point he says he called his friend klem. >> she basically said, i'm filing for divorce. all i did was call bubba and was crying like a baby on the phone, broke down. bubba said, come over to the house, let's talk. i was so desperate i went over there. >> reporter: moments after hogan arrived, he says klem's wife grabbed his hand and led him up
>> from the feeling i had, bubba, you're not filming this, are you? and he just lashed into me, what the hell's wrong with you, i'm your iffing best friend, how dare you say that to me. >> reporter: five years later a tape of that night is posted by gawker as hogan is on a preplanned press tour. >> there's a tape of your [ bleep ]ing heather. >> first off, i've never made a tape. >> you swear you were not in on this? >> i swear to god i wasn't. >> reporter: hogan didn't believe his friend klem was in on this either until later that day. a bombshell. >> when they confirmed bubba was on the tape and bubba turned the camera off and bubba told heather that this is for our retirement, heather -- i just started violently shaking. >> reporter: in a video deposition, heather maintains neither she nor hogan had any idea the encounter was being recorded. >> to the best of your knowledge, mr. bollea had no idea there was a camera in the room at the time of your sexual encounter, is that correct?
>> reporter: he later settled a lawsuit with klem who apologized for stating that hogan knew he was being taped. but hogan has refused to settle this one. saying gawker, by publishing the tape, violated his privacy. >> they made a conscious decision to expose terry bollea naked and gain engaged in sex and having private conversations in a private bedroom. >> reporter: hogan's lawyers portraying gawker's ceo nick denton, seen here in an nbc interview, as being willing to cross the line. >> is there any subject that's off limits? >> i'm asked that question sometimes and i try to -- i don't like to define the answer. >> they made a conscious decision to expose him in that state. >> reporter: gawker argued today the existence of the tape was already a story in the news.
conversation that he largely started and was very much a part of for years. >> reporter: and on cross examination, hogan taking hits. lawyers for the defense pointing statements. >> were you being honest there, did you view a minute of the program? >> no, i did not. >> okay. you just told folks that? right? >> pretty much i was on auto pilot. attorney. and that was just set. i mean, i haven't seen the tape. >> reporter: but this isn't the only time hulk hogan has been filmed without his knowledge. three years after his sex tape leaked, another recording leaked. "the national enquirer" posted an audio clip of him calling his daughter brooke's then-boyfriend a racial slur. he spoke to abc's amy robach in august last year. >> i was at the lowest point of
my personal life was destroyed. i was very mad at my daughter. i was upset over a situation that happened between her and her boyfriend. and i had no idea i was being taped. i was to the point where i wanted to kill myself. i was lost. >> yes, i was. brooke -- >> reporter: a stark contrast from the hulk hogan on the reality show "hogan knows best" where he was protective of his only daughter brooke. had a boyfriend yet. want it. >> reporter: his daughter finally started dating and in the tape he refers to him using the "n" word. >> are you a racist? >> no, i'm not. i never should have said what i said. it was wrong. i'm embarrassed by it. >> reporter: the wwe fired him after the tape leaked and wiped him from wwe history. >> i was totally shocked because i've worked with the wwe for
done, my whole career, my whole life, was like it never happened. >> reporter: since then, hogan says he's turned his life around, recommitted himself to god, and remarried to jennifer mcdaniel, a relationship that he thinks the scandal may have endangered. >> i had no idea if my new relationship and my life on a terry bollea level was going to survive. it's not that great right now. >> reporter: it's the uneasy relationship between the media and the privacy of celebrities that is now on trial. both sides taking credit for landing some blows as they court today. >> today was a very good day. >> terry was able to land exactly what happened, exactly how he felt about it. >> we heard hulk hogan say at times he plays the hulk hogan character and doesn't seem to always tell the truth to his audience. we heard he says different things when he's terry bollea. >> reporter: tomorrow the cross
trial that so far seems more riveting than your average wwe event. with an outcome that's far more uncertain. for "nightline," i'm linzie janis in florida. next, a love story that ranged from hollywood to the white house. nancy and ronald reagan. their intimate love letters, their secrets to a lasting relationship, and the tributes pouring in tonight one day after her death. o sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day.
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former first lady who died yesterday at the age of 94. and tonight we take a look back at the love story that defined her life. it was this moment, nancy reagan kissing the coffin of former president ronald reagan, that crystallized the love story that formed the super piece of her adult life. >> if a death can be peaceful and lovely, that one was. >> reporter: it was a love story that played out in the public eye for more than half a century. and ranged from hollywood to the white house. >> how do you keep the romance in a marriage? >> i think it used to be that one of you thought that it had to be -- everything had to be your way. or 50/50. it isn't always 50/50. >> what is it? >> sometimes it's 90/10. and you have to be willing to
the 90. but it's something you want to do. >> there's nothing more wonderful for a man than to approach his own doorstep knowing that someone on the other side of the door is listening for the sound of his footsteps. >> reporter: they met in the early '50s when they were both movie stars. >> how do you know so much about the moon? >> i know a lot about it. spend all my time looking at it when you're away. >> reporter: after they got married, nancy, a graduate of smith college, retired from acting, focusing on taking care of their two children, patty and ron jr., as well as her two stepchildren, michael and maureen, from president reagan's first marriage. >> her love for him was so self-evident, it was inspiring and touching. >> reporter: bob cocheelo is author of "ronnie and nancy." >> it was real and it's really
confidence and this optimism he was known to have. >> reporter: they had pet names for one another. she called him ronnie, he called her mommy. they sent one another intimate love letters like this one written by ronald reagan. my darling, i love you so very much. i don't even mind that life made me wait so long to find you. the waiting only made the feeling sweeter. as ronald reagan rose through the political ranks, from governor of california -- >> i, ronald reagan, do solemnly swear -- >> reporter: to the 40th president of the united states, nancy was his closest confidant and fiercest defender. >> he was the visionary. he was the big picture guy. but she was the detail person. and she was the personnel director. she made sure he had good people around him. when they weren't good, she had to get rid of them. >> reporter: she even helped the president find the right words. >> doing everything we can. >> doing everything we can. >> reporter: when reagan was
presidency -- she became even more protective of her husband. >> i was a very good worrier. >> did he know how much you worried? >> i think so. >> reporter: away from the security and policy concerns, nancy reagan also famously brought hollywood elegance and moxie to the role of first lady. our love is here to stay >> reporter: although she was criticized for her extravagance, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy new white house china. >> what will you do when someone offers you do? >> just say no! >> reporter: as first lady she also made a mark with her advocacy on key issues. her signature cause, the just say no campaign aimed at fighting alcohol and drug abuse. and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to share her struggle publicly.
kind of life i lead and keep the schedule that i do having radiation or chemotherapy. there would be no way. >> reporter: but it was a health issue involving her husband that would consume much of her life after the white house. in 1994 when the former president revealed he had alzheimer's disease, she became his sole caretaker. his diagnosis led her to take a stance in support of stem-cell research, later clashing with members of the republican party, including president george w. bush for his opposition to it. >> you could save millions of people's lives if you really charged ahead with stem-cell. hopefully we will. >> reporter: his last few years, as nancy called them, "a long good-bye." >> ronnie stood before you and spoke for what he said might be his last speech. at a republican convention.
tribute during the 1996 republican convention. >> never forget your heroic origins. never fail to seek divine guidance. and never, never lose your natural god-given optimism. >> reporter: when president reagan passed away in 2004, she meticulously planned his funeral. but saying good-bye was clearly not easy. today, one day after we learned of her death at age 94, it was the world paying tribute to nancy reagan. >> i know how much she meant, not just to president reagan but to the country as a whole. he was lucky to have her. and i'm sure he'd be the first to acknowledge that. so she will be missed. >> reporter: her stepson michael tweeting, she has always wanted to be with heronny, now she's at peace. a sentiment that brought to mind this interview mrs. reagan did
the former first lady recounted a conversation with the reverend billy graham. >> i just want you to tell me that when i go, that ronnie's going to be there waiting for me. and he said, oh, yes. absolutely, nancy. >> reporter: nancy reagan's funeral will be held this friday at the reagan library in simi valley, california. up next here on "nightline," the stunning admission today from maria sharapova, the tennis star and the doping scandal. shopping for an suv? well, this is the time. and your ford dealer is the place, to get 0% financing for 60 months on a ford suv. that's right. just announced. ford explorer...edge...escape... and expedition... are available with 0% financing for 60 months. ford suvs. designed to help you be unstoppable. no wonder ford is america's best selling brand. but hurry, 0% financing
finally tonight, maria sharapova, star athlete, sex symbol -- and now something much more controversial. here's abc's nick watt. >> reporter: the highest-paid female athlete on our planet. model, entrepreneur, olympic medalist. this afternoon in a los angeles hotel, a bombshell from maria sharapova. >> a few days ago i received a letter from the itf that i had failed a drug test at the australian open. i take full responsibility for it. i made a huge mistake. >> reporter: sharapova is sponsored by porsche. and nike. until they suspended their deal late tonight. could join the list of fallen idols. marion jones, alex rodriguez, lance armstrong, who finally fessed up to oprah. >> did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
>> reporter: sharapova tested positive for something called meldonium, only added to the ban list january 1st this year. the darling of tennis now on the defense. >> i was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues that i was having back in 2006. i was getting sick a lot. as well as indications of diabetes. it made me healthy and that's yes continued to take it. >> reporter: officials claim it could boost performance, that's why they banned it. sharapova doesn't deny taking it but claims she had no idea it's now outlawed. >> i know many of you thought that i would be retiring today. but if i was ever going to announce my retirement, it would probably not be in a downtown los angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet. >> reporter: sharapova is provisionally suspended, is cooperating, and will likely appeal any ban. >> thank you. >> reporter: i'm nick watt for "nightline" in los angeles. >> thanks to nick watt for that report.