Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire who helped bring down Gawker Media by secretly helping to fund Terry Bollea’s (aka Hulk Hogan) lawsuit against the company, may be interested in buying Gawker.com.
Thiel’s cash reserves allowed him to secretly aid Bollea financially in his $140 million violation of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media in 2016, which came after it published clips of a sex tape featuring the former wrestler and the then wife of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge. Bollea won the case and Gawker was forced to file for bankruptcy.
There was a lot of animosity toward the news corporation from Thiel after Gawker revealed the billionaire was gay in a 2007 article. The PayPal co-founder said he had just begun to come out to those close to him at the time of its publication. He once called Gawker a "singularly sociopathic bully"
Most of Gawker’s websites were sold to US Spanish-language broadcaster Univision last year. A bankruptcy plan administrator has not been able to find a buyer for Gawker.com
According to a report by BuzzFeed News, Thiel’s lawyers have just filed a motion in court arguing that their client has been “unfairly excluded” from the ongoing bidding for the site. The eventual owner will be able to do whatever they want to the site’s archives, which are still available online. They will also own the Gawker.com branding and social media accounts.
“In light of the Plan Administrator's refusal to allow Mr. Thiel to participate in the sale process, Mr. Thiel's counsel requested that the Plan Administrator agree to pause the ongoing sale process so that a sale of the assets is not consummated until the issues concerning the Plan Administrator's blockade of Mr. Thiel as a bidder are resolved,” the filing reads.
Thiel is famously one of the very few big tech names to publicly support Donald Trump. He even donated $1.25 million to the president's election campaign last year.
Thiel’s spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether he was interested in buying Gawker.com, but the move does suggest that’s his plan.