Billionaire bankrolls Hulk Hogan's Gawker lawsuit

Peter Thiel, a tech billionaire, reveals his involvement with the Hulk Hogan invasion of privacy case.

By Brandon Davis, PoliticKING

By MsSaraKelly - Hulk Hogan by Graffiti Life, CC BY 2.0, wikicommons 

Hulk Hogan may have recently been awarded $140 million in March over a sex tape Gawker published in 2012, but it looks like someone else paid his legal fees.  The secret financial backer in his legal fight against Gawker Media for invasion of privacy is Peter Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur who has a rocky history with Gawker.

The PayPal co-founder admitted to financially backing Hulk Hogan's invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker in a new interview with The New York Times.

Thiel has history with Gawker, who published an article in 2007 outing him as gay. He is now open about his sexual orientation, but once described the Gawker-owned site Valleywag as ““the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”

“It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence,” he said on Wednesday in his first interview since his identity was revealed.  “I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”

There is nothing illegal about this type of funding.  Mr. Thiel’s identity was first reported late Tuesday by Forbes magazine.

Mr. Thiel added: “I can defend myself. Most of the people they attack are not people in my category.  They usually attack less prominent, far less wealthy people that simply can’t defend themselves.”  He said that “even someone like Terry Bollea who is a millionaire and famous and a successful person didn’t quite have the resources to do this alone.”

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