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.
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.