×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Peter Thiel Ends Bid to Buy Gawker

Peter Thiel is no longer trying to get his hands on Gawker’s now-dormant website and its archive of articles — apparently to avoid a costly and embarrassing legal fight over his backing of the litigation that drove Gawker Media into bankruptcy.

In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Wednesday, Thiel and his investment firm, Thiel Capital, said they had reached an agreement with the firm handling the liquidation of Gawker Media’s remaining assets to withdraw the bid.

In addition, Thiel’s agreement will provide a legal release for the eventual purchaser of Gawker.com as well as the writers of the articles on the site. He also agreed to not fund any legal action against Gawker Media going forward. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In 2016, Thiel was revealed to have funded wrestler Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, along with two other suits. Those led to Gawker’s filing for bankruptcy and the sale of most of its assets to Univision Communications for $135 million. Thiel, who said in a speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention that “I’m proud to be gay,” remained upset about a 2007 Gawker article that reported he was gay.

Hogan successfully won judgments for $140 million in damages in the case against Gawker, which had published a sex video showing the wrestler in flagrante delicto with his ex-friend’s wife. Under a bankruptcy court settlement for $31 million, Hogan — whose real name is Terry Bollea — is entitled to 45% of the proceeds from the sale of Gawker. (In addition, the article with the sex video of Bollea was deleted from the Gawker site.)

Following the sale of six websites to Univision, the Gawker Media assets include the Gawker.com domain name, social-media accounts and an archive of almost 200,000 articles. Lawyers for Gawker Media had objected to Thiel’s proposal to buy up those assets, suggesting he wanted to purge articles that Gawker had published about him — or simply eradicate the whole thing.

Thiel currently has a net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. He first amassed his wealth after co-founding PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Thiel also co-founded and owns a significant stake in Palantir Technologies, a data-analytics and antifraud software company valued at $20 billion. He is currently a partner at venture-capital firm Founders Fund and a Facebook board member.

More Digital

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson Someone Great

    'Someone Great' Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Reimagining the Rom-Com

    Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” recently made her feature debut with “Someone Great,”  now streaming on Netflix. The film follows three friends as they navigate relationships and work in New York City.  Here, the writer-director opens up on reimagining the rom-com, and women changing the face of Hollywood. The three young [...]

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

  • Cox Cable Testing a Form of

    Cox Cable Testing Gamer Network Service to Reduce Lag

    UPDATED: Cox Cable is testing a new “Elite Gamer Service” that is designed to speed up connections between gamers and games, but which the company says doesn’t prioritize internet use. The service began testing in Arizona this week and Cox tells Variety it plans to run the test for about three weeks. The $15 a [...]

  • Angie-Nwandu-The-Shade-Room

    The Shade Room, a Top Instagram Celebrity and Gossip Publisher, Unveils First Slate of Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Shade Room, a top Instagram-based media publisher focused on black culture, entertainment and celebrity gossip, is launching three new original series on the social platform. The five-year-old venture, the brainchild of entrepreneur Angelica Nwandu, runs one of the most highly engaged accounts on Instagram: @TheShadeRoom, which has 15.3 million followers (referred to as “Roommates”), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content