Gawker settled Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit to the tune of $31 million.
In March, Gawker was ordered by a Florida jury to pay a total of $140 million to the former professional wrestler over the site’s publication of an excerpt of a sex tape showing him with his friend’s wife, Heather Clem. In May, the verdict was upheld, and Forbes broke the news that Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and a Facebook board member, had bankrolled Hogan’s case. The next month, Gawker filed for bankruptcy and in August, Univision bought Gawker Media with most of its sites (except for Gawker itself).
In a statement on his website, Gawker founder Nick Denton explained that while Gawker believed they would be able to either get an appeals court to throw out or lower the verdict, it was too expensive and burdensome to continue to fight the matter.
“After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached. The saga is over,” Denton wrote.
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Denton noted that Gawker has to unpublish “three true stories” as part of the deal. One of the stories is about Hogan, and the other two relate to cases against Gawker backed by Thiel — “the claim by Shiva Ayyadurai that he invented email and the feud between the founders of Tinder.”
According to CNBC: “Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, will be getting $31 million from the media company, according to the documents. He will also get a portion of some Gawker media proceeds, including part of its $135 million sale to Univision, which will be split between him and two other defamation lawsuits.”
Thiel told CNBC: “It is a great day for Terry Bollea and a great day for everyone’s right to privacy.”