Gawker Settles Peter Thiel-Funded Lawsuit With Hulk Hogan

"The saga is over."
Gawker founder Nick Denton appears on 'Good Morning America' in this 2016 file photo.
Gawker founder Nick Denton appears on 'Good Morning America' in this 2016 file photo.

After a protracted, yearslong legal battle, Gawker has settled with Hulk Hogan.

The notoriously snarky (and now defunct) website had been under fire since 2012, when Gawker published a sex tape featuring Hogan having sex with the wife of a Tampa-area radio host known as “Bubba The Love Sponge Clem.”

Gawker founder Nick Denton announced Wednesday that three of the site’s stories about Hogan will be removed from the web as part of the settlement. He called the stories’ removal “the most unpalatable part of the deal.”

According to court documents obtained by Bloomberg, Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea) will also receive $31 million.

In a blog post explaining his decision to settle, Denton pinned the outcome on Peter Thiel, a billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur who secretly financed Hogan’s suit and other lawsuits against Gawker, effectively bleeding the site dry

Two other lawsuits against Gawker were close to being resolved on Wednesday, per a tweet from CNN’s Brian Stelter. In addition to Hogan’s case, the other two plaintiffs settled for $500,000 and $750,000, the network reported.

“For Thiel, an investor in Facebook and Palantir, the cost of this exercise is less than 1% of his net worth and a little additional notoriety,” Denton wrote in his post. “The other protagonists — including Hulk Hogan and A.J. Daulerio, the author of the Gawker story about him — had much more at stake. That motivated a settlement that allows us all to move on, and focus on activities more productive than endless litigation. Life is short, for most of us.”

“The saga is over,” he added.

Gawker filed for bankruptcy protection in June. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision purchased the Gawker stable of websites, which includes Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker and Jalopnik, for $135 million this August.