Gawker founder files for bankruptcy after losing Hulk Hogan sex tape case

He claims that this is a case of the super-rich silencing the press...

BY Joseph Conroy 13:03 Tuesday 2 August 2016, 13:03 2 Aug 2016

Chris Carlson / AP

Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker Media is seeking bankruptcy court protection after an appeal against a decision which awarded former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan $140m in damages relating to a privacy lawsuit was rejected.

This comes after Gawker also sought bankruptcy on June 10th to cover legal costs after publishing part of a 'sex-tape' featuring the entertainer.

Mr Denton previously said that enforcing the findings of the court would threaten the freedom of the press.

The site argued that the footage was newsworthy and that it should have been protected by the First Amendment which guarantees the right to free speech.

Mr Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) had his case bank-rolled by tech billionaire and PayPal founder Peter Thiel. He was ousted as a homosexual by a Gawker site in 2007. Staff at the site claimed that he was pursuing a personal vendetta by funding the Hogan case.

Mr Thiel said that the financial support provided was an act of philanthropy in an interview with The New York Times.

In a memo to staff Mr Denton wrote, "We can be proud that we survived and prospered as an independent company for more than a decade, and have a second act ahead of us, under the shelter finally of a larger media company."

In a tweet he added that he believes that this case sets a dangerous precedent and that it shows that the press can be silenced by the super-rich.

Gawker Media will be sold at auction later in this month.


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