Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel financed the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker, along with other lawsuits against the gossip site. Many have asked ‘Why?’
Thiel, a former lawyer and Supreme Court clerk who went on to make billions as co-founder of PayPal among other ventures, said he regarded his financing of lawsuits against the scandal site as an act of philanthropy.
It is “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done” with reference to the Hulk Hogan lawsuit.
And he’s not finished yet. He plans to finance other cases too. Reports indicate that his litigation funding provides a “window into the largely self-regulated and growing world of litigation funding.”
Gawker received a massive bloody nose with a $140 million verdict that a Florida judge last week refused to disturb. The Gawker article related to their publication of a sex tape involving Hogan, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea.
Speculation arose as to why Hogan/Bollea wasn’t attempting to collect from an insurer.
Meanwhile, Thiel himself has been a target for Gawker’s attacks, including a 2007 article entitled:
“Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.”
Thiel told media that he was not the only person who had been bullied by Gawker articles. He saw no contradiction between his litigation funding and his donations to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“I refuse to believe that journalism means massive privacy violations,” he said. “I think much more highly of journalists than that. It’s precisely because I respect journalists that I do not believe they are endangered by fighting back against Gawker.”