2:00 PM PT -- Bubba played the apology after coming back from a commercial break ... and the audio was sped up and hard to listen to ... just like a legal notice at the end of a car commercial.
Hulk Hogan has settled his lawsuit against his ex-BFF, Bubba the Love Sponge, over the sex tape scandal ... but he is pressing on with his lawsuits against Bubba's ex-wife and Gawker Media.
Financial terms of the settlement were not released, but clearly a public mea culpa from Bubba, real name Todd Alan Clem, was part of the deal.
Bubba released an apology letter today ... saying he now believes Hulk had no idea he was being recorded and that Hulk did not play a part in releasing the tape.
Bubba continues ... "It is my belief that Hulk is not involved, and has not ever been involved, in trying to release the video, or exploit it, or otherwise gain from the video’s release in any way."
Bubba closed the letter by saying he is "committed to helping Hulk and his attorneys find whoever is responsible for the release of the tape."
Hulk is continuing forward with his $100 million lawsuit against Gawker for publishing the tape. He is also seeking damages from Bubba's ex-wife ... the sex tape co-star, Heather Clem.