Gawker Media Settles Lawsuits With Hulk Hogan, Others

Gawker Media and its founder, Nick Denton, have settled litigation with Hulk Hogan over Gawker’s posting of a sex video of the wrestler, along with two other parties who sued the now-bankrupt digital media company.

Gawker will pay Hogan and his lawyers $31 million to settle the $140 million jury award in the case, which was filed after Gawker.com in 2012 posted a video of the wrestler having sex with his best friend’s wife, according to documents filed Wednesday in Manhattan bankruptcy court.

Denton in a blog post confirmed that the settlements had been reached. “The saga is over,” he wrote. Under the terms of the agreement, three stories  published by Gawker Media — the one about Hulk Hogan, a story about the claim by Shiva Ayyadurai that he invented email, and a story about the feud between the founders of Tinder  —  are being removed from the web, according to Denton, who called that “the most unpalatable part of the deal.”

Previously, Denton and Gawker Media said they planned to appeal the verdict in the Hogan case along with the two other lawsuits, each of which were funded by Peter Thiel, PayPal’s billionaire founder and a vocal Donald Trump supporter. In the post Wednesday, Denton wrote that an “all-out legal war with Thiel would have cost too much, and hurt too many people, and there was no end in sight.” Thiel has defended his war on Gawker, which outed him as gay in a 2007 article, as a check on media organizations that publish individuals’ private info.

Under the settlement, Gawker will pay a total of $1.25 million to Ayyadurai and Ashley Terrill, a writer who had been working on a story about Tinder and sued Gawker for libel over Gawker’s story about the app company. Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea), Ayyadurai and Terrill were represented in the Gawker lawsuits by attorney Charles Harder.

As a result of the Hogan verdict, Gawker declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and initiated the process of selling its assets.

In August, Univision Communications acquired six of Gawker Media’s sites — Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Deadspin, Jezebel, Kotaku and Jalopnik  —  for $135 million. Those sites are now housed under Univision’s Gizmodo Media Group, overseen by ex-News Corp exec Raju Narisetti. Gawker.com ceased publishing on Aug. 22, but the site remains live.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Andrew MorseVariety's Entertainment & Techonology Summit,

    Listen: CNN Digital Chief Says Trump Doesn't Drive Traffic Success

    No subject might get as much attention across CNN’s digital properties as Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean the news network is dependent on him for web traffic. Andrew Morse, executive VP and general manager of the AT&T-owned company’s digital operations, pointed to recent coverage of natural disasters and international incidents as more potent audience [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Instagram Debuts Jonah Hill’s ‘Un-filtered’ Bullying Docu-Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Facebook’s Instagram, as part of its anti-bullying initiatives, funded a new series directed by Jonah Hill featuring teens and young adults talking about their experiences with bullying. The four-episode “Un-filtered” goes live Wednesday (Sept. 18) on Instagram’s IGTV channel on its mobile app and the web. In the unscripted series, Hill interviews people aged 13-25 [...]

  • Plex

    Plex Signs Up Lionsgate for Upcoming Ad-Supported Video Service

    Media center app maker Plex has struck a deal with Lionsgate to add some of the studio’s movies and TV shows to its upcoming ad-supported video service. The news comes just weeks after Plex announced a similar deal with Warner Bros. “Lionsgate is one of the biggest names in the business and we know our [...]

  • Comcast Xfinity Flex

    Comcast Drops $5 Monthly Fee for Xfinity Flex Video-Streaming Set-Top for Broadband Customers

    Comcast will hand out one free set-top box for broadband subscribers to access Xfinity Flex, its video-streaming product for internet-only customers, as it looks to punch up the value of its high-speed internet business. Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman and CEO, announced the new strategy at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference Wednesday in New York. “One of [...]

  • Facebook Portal TV

    Facebook Announces $149 Portal TV Device, 2 New Portal Smart Displays

    Facebook wants you to put a camera into your living room: The company officially unveiled its Portal TV device Wednesday that brings video chatting, augmented reality (AR) and Facebook Watch to any TV set. In addition, the company also unveiled two new Portal smart display devices that are aggressively priced to grow the company’s home [...]

  • Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South

    Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series to Shoot in New Zealand

    Amazon Studios has set New Zealand as the location for its upcoming series production of “The Lord of the Rings,” following in the footsteps of the movies made by Peter Jackson. Pre-production on the series has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. “We knew we needed to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content