PayPal’s Peter Thiel Bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s Case Against Gawker – Reports
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who co-founded PayPal, has reportedly been bankrolling former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against Gawker Media.
Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan & Gawker
Thiel, a cofounder and partner at Founders Fund and an early backer of Facebook, has been footing the costs of Hogan’s ongoing cases, and has likely paid for prominent Los Angeles lawyer Charles Harder to represent the former WWE wrestler. Hogan won the case against Gawker Media and its founder Nick Denton in March to the tune of $140 million.
There have long been rumors that a wealthy individual was helping Hogan out, and Denton admitted that he agreed with the rumors, claiming that he had a “personal hunch” that it was a wealthy individual in Silicon Valley. In fact, Denton claimed that it would be a smart thing to do, particularly for someone wanting to draw attention away from their own scandal.
“If you’re a billionaire and you don’t like the coverage of you, and you don’t particularly want to embroil yourself any further in a public scandal, it’s a pretty smart, rational thing to fund other legal cases,” he told the Times.
Gawker has made a habit of going after Silicon Valley names, including Thiel. Back in 2007, Gawker published a report that outed Thiel as gay. Thiel, in turn, compared websites like Gawker to Al Qaeda and their reports “psychological terrorism.”
Thiel has yet to comment on the reports.