The deal is done. Gawker Media today settled its case with former wrestling star Hulk Hogan, which brought Nick Denton's blogging empire to bankruptcy, ending the company's long reign as an independent news organization.
Court documents show the Gawker settlement is for $31 million. The agreement comes eight months after a judge awarded Hogan, aka Terry Bollea, $140 million in damages in an invasion of privacy lawsuit after Gawker.com published a sex tape showing Bollea having sex with his friend’s wife. Gawker won't appeal that judgment.
“As with any negotiation for resolution, all parties have agreed it is time to move on,” David Houston, a lawyer for Mr. Hogan, said in a statement.
From the New York Times:
The significant financial pressure from the judgment — and the revelation that Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was financing the lawsuit and others against the company — forced Gawker to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell itself through an auction, which Univision won in August with a bid of $135 million.
“After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached,” Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker, said in a blog post.
”All-out legal war with Thiel would have cost too much, and hurt too many people, and there was no end in sight,” Mr. Denton added. “Gawker’s nemesis was not going away.”
Mr. Denton did not disclose the financial details of the settlement. As part of the deal between the sides, three Gawker.com articles will be removed from the internet, including the one involving Mr. Hogan.
Illustration: Rob Beschizza