Gawker Media Files for Bankruptcy, May Sell Assets After $140 Million Hulk Hogan Lawsuit

Nick Denton of Gawker

Gawker Media has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a judge ordered the company to pay $140 million in Hulk Hogan‘s lawsuit, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The former wrestler filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit after Gawker posted a sex tape featuring him in October 2012.

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The bankruptcy filing means Gawker can postpone paying Hogan, and the company can restructure. The media organization still plans to appeal the case, The New York Times reports.

Now, the company will be put up for auction, an insider told The New York Times. Digital media company Ziff Davis has already submitted an opening bid of $90 to $100 million.

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In March, a Florida jury awarded Hogan (real name: Terry G. Bollea) $115 million in damages — even more than the $100 million he asked for. A jury later added on $25 million in punitive damages. Several weeks ago, it was revealed that billionaire Peter Thiel financed Hogan’s case. In 2007, Gawker’s Valleywag blog outed the PayPal co-founder as gay. “It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence,” he told The New York Times of his motives for bankrolling the lawsuit.

Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan during the Hulkamania Tour in 2009. Paul Kane/Getty Images

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The news site, which was was founded in 2003 by Nick Denton, reported it has less than $100 million in assets and hundreds of millions of dollars in liabilities, according to THR. The company also includes a repertoire of other sites, such as Deadspin and Jezebel.

Gawker has been hit with several lawsuits in recent years as well. Last week, The New York Times reported the company is currently fighting five defamation-related lawsuits. 

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