Gawker Founder Nick Denton Files for Bankruptcy After Losing Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Lawsuit

Nick Denton filed for bankruptcy less than two months after his company, Gawker Media, also filed for Chapter 11

Photo: Steve Nesius/AP

Gawker Media founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy protection on Monday, just months after a Florida jury ordered him to pay millions to Hulk Hogan in the sex tape case, reports say.

Denton’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing puts a stay on Hogan’s efforts to collect or move to seize his assets, The New York Times reports.

The move comes nearly five months after a Florida jury awarded Hogan $140 million – $115 in damages and $25 million in punitive damages – in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit after Gawker posted portions of a sex tape involving the wrestler having sex with his best friend’s then-wife in 2012.

“Ever since the verdict, this was a likely outcome,” Denton, 49, told the Times.

According to the filling obtained by Politico, Denton personally owes Hogan – real name Terry Gene Bollea – $10 million, and jointly liable for $115 million.

Denton alluded to the filing in a pair of tweets on Monday, writing, “Gawker Media Group’s resilient brands and people will thrive under new ownership, when the sale closes in the next few weeks.”

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He added in a follow-up tweet: “On this bitter day for me, I am consoled by the fact that my colleagues will soon be freed from this tech billionaire’s vendetta.”

As the trial concluded, it was revealed that Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel secretly funded Hogan’s legal case against Gawker, after the site outed the PayPal co-founder as gay.

Denton said in the filing that his assets are worth between $10 million and $50 million and he has up to $500 million in liabilities, the Associated Press reports.

“[It’s] disturbing to live in a world in which a billionaire can bully journalists because he didn’t like the coverage,” Denton wrote in a memo to Gawker Media staff, according to the AP.

WATCH: Jurors Award Hulk Hogan $25.1 Million in Punitive Damages

In June, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is now up for sale, the AP reports. A judge decided then that Gawker Media would not get a new trial in the case after the media organization filed an appeal to do so.

The legal battle began after the 62-year-old wrestler claimed his privacy was violated when Gawker posted a portion of the video that showed him having intercourse with the former wife of his then-friend, Todd Clem, a radio host, who filmed the encounter.

“I was embarrassed by what it did to me as a person,” Hogan testified of the tape’s release. “But it was even embarrassing as a character. Hulk Hogan was embarrassed.”

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