Why a billionaire bankrolled Hulk Hogan's Gawker lawsuit

Forbes' Matt Drange on why tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel got involved in the wrestler's lawsuit against Gawker.
Gawker Media has hired bankers and is reportedly considering selling itself after losing a high-profile defamation lawsuit from wrestler Hulk Hogan and his well-financed legal backers. (Steve Nesius/Associated Press)

This week, the New York Times and Forbes revealed that Silicon Valley billionare Peter Thiel bankrolled the successful Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. Observers estimate that Thiel spent 10 million dollars helping the wrestler. 

But why? 

Forbes staff writer Matt Drange joins Shad to explain the whole saga in less than 10 minutes. The PayPal co-founder was publicly outed as being gay by the media organization nearly a decade ago — and Thiel has been a powerful adversary ever since. 

WEB EXTRA | Read An Open Letter to Peter Thiel, as published on Gawker's website. 

Excerpt: Peter, this is twisted. Even were you to succeed in bankrupting Gawker Media, the writers you dislike, and me, just think what it will mean. The world is already uncomfortable with the unaccountable power of the billionaire class, the accumulation of wealth in Silicon Valley, and technology's influence over the media [...] Now you show yourself as a thin-skinned billionaire who, despite all the success and public recognition that a person could dream of, seethes over criticism and plots behind the scenes to tie up his opponents in litigation he can afford better than they.



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