Peter Thiel reaches agreement saying he won’t buy Gawker
Billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel has agreed not to buy the assets of Gawker.com in order to avoid potential legal claims against him, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The agreement was reached between Thiel’s firm and a neutral adviser in charge of liquidating Gawker’s assets following a successful lawsuit that bankrupted the company. Thiel will not pursue the site further and will provide the eventual buyer a legal release for articles in Gawker’s archive, according to an agreement, obtained by the Journal, filed Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
The PayPal founder, who is also a prominent supporter of President Trump, led a successful crusade against the website after it outed him as gay. He funded a lawsuit against the website from wrestler Hulk Hogan over the publication of a sex tape featuring Hogan, which ultimately led to Gawker’s demise.
Thiel continued to “to pay the legal fees and expenses” of Hogan during the bankruptcy proceedings following Hogan’s successful suit, according to court filings obtained by the Journal.
The site remains dormant but can be viewed online. Many speculated that Thiel would look to purchase the company’s assets as a way to remove old articles about him from the web.
In November, Thiel’s lawyers filed a motion accusing Gawker’s representatives of blocking the billionaire from information about the sale of the site’s assets, signaling that Thiel was attempting to buy the site.
“By wrongly excluding Mr. Thiel, the most able and logical purchaser, from the sale process on specious grounds … the Plan Administrator will only depress the value to be achieved in any sale,” his lawyers claimed in a November filing.
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