Gawker may be preparing a lawsuit against tech entrepreneur and billionaire Peter Thiel after he funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the news outlet earlier this year, resulting in the company and its founder filing for bankruptcy.
Gawker, who were ordered to pay $140 million to Hogan in March after posting a clip from the former wrestler’s sex tape, reportedly asked a bankruptcy judge on Tuesday for permission to “conduct an examination into Peter Thiel’s role in funding litigation against the company.”
“Given the apparent motive of Mr. Thiel to destroy the Debtors by his financial support of (and actual or de facto control regarding claims of) major alleged creditors, the Debtors require discovery to ascertain whether certain claims exist on behalf of the estates,” said Gawker in their motion. “For example, the New York Times report of Mr. Thiel’s intent to destroy the Debtors to avenge, inter alia, the Gawker.com’s 2007 publication (of a story about him) raises the possibility that the Debtors have a cause of action for prima facie tort under New York law.”
Gawker’s lawyer suggests that such implications may carry a “heavy burden” and are anticipated to file a lawsuit should their request be accepted.
Former Gawker CEO Nick Denton was angered by Thiel’s actions, mentioning the PayPal co-founder’s name twenty-eight times during his goodbye post on Gawker.com in August.
Former Gawker editor AJ Daulerio taunted Hogan during an interview in September, where he stated, “What I did think initially was that, well, all is lost. But I do still have a copy of the sex tape.”