Gawker founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy Monday in the aftermath of a Florida jury’s awarding $140 million to Hulk Hogan in a privacy case revolving around a sex tape posted on Gawker.com.
As a result of the verdict, which is being appealed, Gawker’s parent company has gone into bankruptcy and is up for sale.
Denton’s bankruptcy filing Monday says he owes $125 million to Hogan, a former professional wrestler. Filing for bankruptcy helps him keep Hogan from collecting.
Overall, Denton’s filing says he has $100 million to $500 million in liabilities and that his assets are worth $10 million to $50 million.
This meat of this story – Gawker losing in court – isn’t exactly breaking news at this point, but there was a part of this story that made me want to write about it:
Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled the lawsuit filed by Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, against Gawker. That raised concerns about the wealthy using their power to bring down media outlets.
“I am consoled by the fact that my colleagues will soon be freed from this tech billionaire’s vendetta,” Denton tweeted. Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website.
Hogan’s attorney David Houston said in a statement that Denton’s bankruptcy “has nothing to do with who paid Mr. Bollea’s legal bills, and everything to do with Denton’s own choices and accountability. If even one person has been spared the humiliation that Mr. Bollea suffered, this is a victory.”
I was previously unaware of anything to do with Thiel, but I’m happy he was involved. I don’t know who he is or what his politics are, but I’m going to guess he doesn’t ideologically match up with the social justice warrior views of Gawker. Often, the regressive left will use this mismatch of views to justify ruining a person’s life. “Why, we’re just pointing out hypocrisy!”, they’ll say. Don’t believe it. That’s bullshit. They’re getting revenge by doing something wrong. Not only are their motivations ill conceived, but their execution is nothing more than an exercise in the belief that two wrongs make a right. They don’t. Ever.
I’m glad Thiel was able to exact ethically-sound revenge. Gawker did something wrong, so when he had the chance to put the screws to them and point out their hypocrisy, he did so without committing a wrong himself. He’s a better person than Nick Denton and all the people who have ever supported that garbage website.