RJ Bell, the “Vegas oddsmaker” in charge of the sports betting website Pregame.com, and subject of a lengthy investigation by Ryan Goldberg on Gawker’s sister website Deadspin, has enlisted Charles J. Harder—the same lawyer who has threatened Gawker over Ashley Feinberg’s reporting on Donald Trump’s hair—to demand a retraction of the article. Meticulously reported over the course of a year, Goldberg’s piece exposed some of Bell and Pregame’s questionable business practices.
Earlier this week, Forbes revisited the tale of the notorious right-wing internet troll Charles C. Johnson and his $55 million defamation lawsuit against Gawker Media. The lawsuit, which concerns a series of stories Gawker and Deadspin published in late 2014, was dismissed in Missouri earlier this year; a similar complaint has languished in California with no action for several months (Gawker Media expects that it will be dismissed as well). What makes Johnson’s litigation particularly noteworthy, however, is the circumstantial evidence surrounding it. According to Forbes, some of this evidence suggests that Johnson had knowledge of Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel’s secret, decade-long legal attack on Gawker prior to its exposure last month.
One day after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal attack on Gawker Media to the New York Times, Gawker reporter Ashley Feinberg published a lengthy investigation that sought to solve the enduring mystery of Donald Trump’s infamous mane, which she described as a “cotton candy hairspray labyrinth.”
Why has Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel spent upwards of $10 million funding third-party lawsuits against Gawker? If you believe his interview with the New York Times, Thiel’s willingness to bankroll litigation brought by Hulk Hogan and other plaintiffs stems from several posts, including a 2007 item about Thiel dating men, that have, in his words, “ruined people’s lives for no reason.” But the record of Thiel’s past comments paints a much more complicated picture of his motivation to end Gawker for good.
On Monday evening, Forbes and the New York Times reported that Peter Thiel, the right-wing billionaire responsible for some of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies, has been secretly underwriting Hulk Hogan’s legal battle against Gawker Media. Last night, Thiel confirmed his involvement in the Hogan case—and others against Gawker—in an incredible interview with Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin:
On Monday, the New York Times reported that Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton had come to believe that a wealthy individual has been funding a steady stream of lawsuits, including three different ones filed by Hulk Hogan alone, against his company. Two journalists at Forbes magazine, Ryan Mac and Matt Drange, are lending credence to Denton’s theory. On Tuesday evening, the pair revealed that the powerful Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel has been secretly underwriting Hulk Hogan’s litigation against Gawker:
The decision by a Florida jury to grant $140 million in damages for a story on Gawker.com about a Hulk Hogan sex tape was extraordinary. The number is far larger than even the plaintiff himself had asked for in relief. It’s a huge pay-day for an indiscretion that would have been quickly forgotten, one among many in the professional wrestler’s personal life.
Disgraced wrestling star Hulk Hogan went on Good Morning America this morning to defend himself following the release last month of leaked transcripts of a video in which he repeatedly referred to “fucking niggers” and admitted that he’s a “racist, to a point.” “I’m not a racist,” he told ABC News’ Amy Robach. “I never should have said that. It was wrong.”
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. has cut ties with the professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, reportedly due to sealed transcripts quoted by the National Enquirer and Radar on Friday morning in which Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea) refers to black people as “fucking niggers” and admits that “I am a racist, to a point.”
Yesterday the Hon. Pamela A.M. Campbell, a circuit court judge in Pinellas County, Fla., issued an order compelling Gawker to remove from the internet a video of Hulk Hogan fucking his friend's ex-wife, as well as a 1,400-word narrative of the video written by former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio and 466 user-submitted comments. Here is why we are refusing to comply.
What happens behind the scenes at Gawker? We know you ask yourselves this question every single hour of every single day, and we don't blame you. We are fascinating. Sometimes we order sandwiches for lunch, and sometimes we order burritos. Sometimes we listen to music while we blog, and sometimes we do not. Sometimes Max Read picks his nose, but not always. With all this in mind, we're sharing with you our official "behind the blog post" backstories for all of the posts you clicked the shit out of this year. Next up: Hulk Hogan's mesmerizing sex tape.
After we posted a brief clip of Hulk Hogan's sex tape last month, TMZ reported that there were three other tapes made. We actually heard there were more than that. Soon after the initial Hulk Hogan not-so-sex-filled "sex tape" was published on Gawker, a man who called himself "Jim Janerro" wrote to us. He claimed he had more footage of Bubba's wife getting it on in the same bedroom with numerous other partners, including other scenes with her and Hogan. He said there were "lots of black guys" involved, too. "Jim" claimed he found the tapes in a box of promotional DVDs he purchased at the annual Bubba Army Garage Sale last year.
Today we've installed an editorial policy at Gawker which I hope will stick for some time: It's about the word "Exclusive" being used in headlines and tags. It should be avoided at all costs, barring strange, unique circumstances wherein we feel it's necessary to inform dumb readers that the story they are reading on this site was generated here and only here despite our dubious reputation as content remoras.