Thiel Agrees Not To Fund Any More Gawker Suits
Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 26, 2018
Peter Thiel Had Funded The Lawsuit That Brought The Media Company To Bankruptcy
A settlement as part of the ongoing bankruptcy of Gawker LLC represents a ceasefire between the defunct media company and billionaire Peter Thiel.
Thiel has agreed not to purchase assets made available at auction in the Gawker bankruptcy, prompted by the media company’s inability to pay a $31 million settlement it reached with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan after an adverse jury verdict resulting from a litigation and legal costs bankrolled on Hogan’s behalf by Thiel.
Glen A. Rothstein, an entertainment attorney at Rothstein Law APC not involved in the matter, said potential bidders would likely be much more reserved if Thiel hadn’t agreed to step away from the bankruptcy. Rothstein said there was otherwise no guarantee that Thiel, who reportedly set out to destroy Gawker after it published a piece publicly outing him as gay, would continue his legal crusade against Gawker’s inheritors.
“Thiel’s presence in this whole thing has just been a sort of fly in the ointment,” Rothstein said. “By having him still in the mix, it would get in the way of others trying to buy the remaining assets and cast a shadow over the closure.” With Thiel gone, Rothstein said interested parties could bid more freely, likely increasing the perceived value of the available assets.
Rothstein said that with a settlement reached between the two most contentiously opposed parties involved in the bankruptcy, the matter should more closely resemble a typical bankruptcy process going forward.
Rothstein added that Thiel could have been motivated to end his involvement to prevent any further interference with his personal life. Or, Rothstein said, he could simply be satisfied with the damage already done to Gawker.
“I’ve found that many litigations tend to have a shelf life, and at some point, the parties just get sort of tired of fighting. They may have reached that point, and in reaching an accord, everyone can just move forward,” Rothstein said. “With this wrapped up, things should proceed in a more normal fashion without all the drama.”