The mystery man behind the destruction of Gawker

Aron D’Souza is the man behind Peter Thiel's successful campaign to destroy Gawker through litigation, according to an exposé by Buzzfeed News. The whole thing seems to dance pretty close to the line for what constitutes maintenance. Read the rest

Gawker alumni are crowdfunding to outbid Peter Thiel for control of Gawker's assets

Gawker was bankrupted by Peter Thiel, who secretly backed Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against the network of news, entertainment and gossip sites in an act of petty revenge. Read the rest

Melania Trump suit from 'Gawker-killer' lawyer claims harm to 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to make millions

A lawyer for Melania Trump argued in a lawsuit filed today that a since-retracted Daily Mail article claiming she once worked as an escort harmed her odds of establishing “multimillion dollar business relationships” during the years in which she would be “one of the most photographed women in the world.” In a sense, the lawsuit is all about a purported right to cash in on being the First Lady. Because that's what being the First Lady is all about.

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Gawker settles with Hulk Hogan in Peter Thiel-backed lawsuit: After 4-year fight, “The saga is over.”

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.

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Gawker files for bankruptcy, will sell itself after $140 million Hulk Hogan lawsuit judgement

Gawker Media was crushed by the $140 million legal judgment in Hulk Hogan's invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, which we now know was financed by a bitter and resentful Peter Thiel. Nick Denton's gossip news site published a sex tape featuring former wrestler Hulk Hogan, and the former wrestler (real name: Terry Bollea) sued with Thiel's help.

The publishing company is now putting itself up for sale, reports the New York Times, citing an anonymous source. Gawker Media Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday “after a judge overseeing the suit against the company entered the full judgment and denied Gawker’s request for a stay under terms the company could meet.”

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Gawker files for bankruptcy protection, entertains buyers

Peter Kafka reports that Gawker's filed for bankruptcy protection to avoid paying Hulk Hogan the $140m judgment he won against it. Though legal experts believe the judgment will be much-reduced or overturned at appeal, the filing readies Gawker for the block. Ziff Davis, the tech publisher, is reportedly offering $90-$100m.

Gawker and its banker Mark Patricof assume that the company will eventually see higher bids while it is in bankruptcy protection. Last year, in advance of the Hogan trial, Denton figured his company was worth something in the $250 million to $300 million range.

But in any case the company won’t trade hands until Gawker either beats back Thiel and Hogan or it finishes a court-approved restructuring. Because no one wants to buy an ongoing lawsuit from Peter Thiel.

Ziff Davis itself is a company that has gone through the Chapter 11 process. The company was once a dominant force in the trade and hobbyist magazine business, but its fortunes declined along with the print industry, and it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008.

It emerged in recent weeks that billionaire Peter Thiel funded Hogan's lawsuit, exacting long-awaited revenge for Gawker having outed him as gay in 2007. Read the rest

What Amazon's Jeff Bezos thinks about Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker

In this video from the Recode conference, an interesting reveal of what CEO Jeff Bezos thinks of the legal battle between Peter Thiel and Gawker, with Hulk Hogan as a most unfortunate proxy. Bezos is full of surprising insights here, and offers Thiel some tough love.

The only effective defense public figures like Thiel have against their critics, says Bezos: “Develop a thick skin.”

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Poster for the inevitable Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel vs Nick Denton and Pierre Omidyar movie

Billionaire Pierre Omidyar "steps into the ring" in the long-running legal fight over privacy and journalistic freedom, fought lately between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media. The intervention, on Gawker's side--Omidyar is himself a media man, now--came after it turned out billionaire Peter Thiel was secretly funding Hulk's suit.

Alternative subtitle: "No matter who wins, we news."

Cast it in the comments. I'm thinking Kenneth Branagh as Denton, Michael C. Hall as Thiel, Christopher Lambert as Omidyar, Hulk Hogan as Terry Bollea, and any random carnie as Hulk Hogan. Read the rest

Gawker lost. Hulk Hogan wins $115M verdict against Gawker in sex tape trial

A Florida jury today ruled in favor of Hulk Hogan's privacy claims instead of Gawker's arguments for press freedom. The court handed the former wrestling star a $115 million verdict against Gawker Media over a 2012 blog post about the now-infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape.

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Hulk Hogan allowed "one plain bandana" in Gawker sex tape trial

According to The Tampa Bay Times, Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell said on Monday that she will permit Hulk Hogan one "plain bandana" during his trial against Gawker for posting excerpts from a secretly-taped sex video. "This is not going to be a carnival," she said several times. Read the rest

Every tabloid wants to die for its virtues

You may have heard that a lawsuit targeting Gawker, over its posting of a Hulk Hogan sex tape, is going to trial, and that Gawker may have a long and unpleasant fight ahead of it. The Awl explains it best: in numbers! Read the rest

The fabulism of Hulk Hogan

Stuart Millard on the demented fantasy world of Hulk Hogan. [Frantic Planet via Charles Wheeler]

Old wrestlers come from a world where there’s no such thing as a lie, just a “work,” where the faces and heels would change in separate dressing rooms, and onscreen personas had to be maintained on the street, to keep up the illusion and protect the business. Consequently they live entirely in fantasy kingdoms of their own making, where the truth is whatever version of the facts is coming out of their mouth at that given moment, repainting incidents from the past like dinosaur hunters crushing prehistoric butterflies beneath their heel

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