Goodbye, Gawker, and we have a now openly gay billionaire to thank for its demise.
The media company just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the wake of the $140 million lawsuit it lost to Hulk Hogan, who sued the company for invasion of privacy after it leaked his sex tape in 2012.
Shortly after the verdict, it was revealed that openly gay Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had personally financed Hogan’s lawsuit in an act of revenge against the company for trying to out him back in 2007. (Talk about an angry queen with a grudge.)
In a statement released this afternoon, Gawker announced it had reached an asset purchase agreement with the media company Ziff Davis. The agreement is reported to be somewhere between $90 to $100 million. The deal is not yet set in stone, however, so other bidders are welcome to offer a higher price in an auction supervised by a bankruptcy court. We are eager and hopeful Gawker has a second act.
Gawker already sold a minority stake to the investment company Columbus Nova Technology Partners back in January in an effort to raise money to defend against the lawsuit that would have been impossible without Thiel’s backing.
Scroll down to see what folks are saying…
Thrilled to live in this new world where billionaires can bankrupt publications out of nothing more than pique. https://t.co/bK8JXQgVvB
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) June 10, 2016
— Gav (@miracleofsound) June 10, 2016
Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our nation. Like them or not, sad to see NYC media giant @Gawker forced to the brink.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) June 10, 2016
The potential chilling effect on speech from billionaires bankrupting news outlets they don't like is terrifying https://t.co/ZOSPYe0nNF
— Adam Serwer (@AdamSerwer) June 10, 2016
What a beautiful day,and the good doesn't prevent the better! In the present I AM always grateful,only good happens to me. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) June 10, 2016
Well, this is terrifying. One article can bankrupt a 13 year old media org with 11M+ monthly unique visitors. https://t.co/faet5HbFgz
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) June 10, 2016
Gawker Media had unionized employees, making this the second union Hulk Hogan had a hand in destroying.
— Charlotte Finn (@CharlotteOfOz) June 10, 2016
— Quatroking (@Quatroking) June 10, 2016
Remember when the New York Times got Iraq wrong and people died, so Peter Thiel decided to bankrupt NYT?
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) June 10, 2016