(Source) Nick Denton is preparing for the biggest fight of his life. The Gawker Media founder and C.E.O.’s opponent: celebrated professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name: Terry Bollea), who sued Denton and Gawker in 2012 after the gossip blog published a supercut of his sex tape and refused to take it down. The case has seen numerous twists and turns over the past three years, but it’s finally set to come to trial in Pinellas County, Fla.—where Hogan lives—on July 6. Denton faces a judge and jury who are skeptical of, if not outright hostile to, his blog empire and philosophy of reporting the “story behind the story,” and some inside Gawker say that they expect the company to lose the case. A loss, and an award of even a fraction of the $100 million Hogan’s attorneys are seeking, could empty the company’s coffers, forcing Denton to either sell the company outright or to hand much of its equity over to deep-pocketed investors.
Denton was frank about the situation in a tense all-hands editorial meeting on June 4 in Gawker’s Nolita headquarters. Denton was his usual charming and irreverent self as he addressed a number of customary challenges facing the company—including issues with the company’s content platform, Kinja, and soft display advertising sales. But he was at turns apologetic and defiant when it came time to discuss the lawsuit. Denton warned staff that the legal battle posed a threat to the company’s fundamental operating principles: its longstanding independence from the demands of venture capitalists and big-media ownership.
“I have way, way less money than people think!” Denton told his staff. “… I don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to kind of bail the company out. If we are in an environment with higher business risk and higher legal risk, then the company is going to need somebody with deeper pockets and hopefully principles in order to keep it both commercially viable and editorially viable.” The case has its roots in an Oct. 4, 2012 postwritten by Gawker’s then-editor A.J. Daulerio about Hogan’s 2006 sex tape. By the time Daulerio published the post, it had been seven months since TMZ broke the news about the existence of the sex tape and more than five months since gossip website The Dirty had published grainy screenshots from the video.
The video shows Hogan having sex with Heather Clem—then the wife of his close friend, the shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem—in Bubba’s house. The video also shows Bubba giving his blessing for Hogan and Clem to have sex. Gawker received a DVD of the 30-minute video and decided to edit it down to a “highlights reel” about a minute and a half long, and published that along with a long post by Daulerio commenting on the tape and the nature of celebrity sex tapes in general. Hogan had already threatened to sue a number of other websites if they posted the sex tape, and he sued Gawker in federal court on Oct. 15, 2012.
Well this sure is interesting. One of the World’s greatest American Hero’s taking down one of the largest blogs on the internet. Never thought I’d see the day where the headline “Gawker in Fight of it’s life with Hulk Hogan” would be a real thing but here we are. Just goes to show you how hard these internet streets are. Yeah it was funny to laugh yesterday about my lazy ass schedule and the fact that I basically spend my life “chilling” but this is the flip side, the side people rarely see. One second you’re commenting on Hulk Hogan’s out of breath sex tape and the next you’re selling the Company because HH takes no prisoners.
Also not for nothing but the odds on Denton pulling this out in a FLORIDA court are impossibly odd. This line made me laugh out loud. Basically the script to Talladega Nights if instead of race car driving it was blogging. The big dumb American Hero vs the Gay Euro blogger all set in a backwards state. Love it.
And Pres may disagree but I think we have to side with Gawker here. Feel like they’re at the front of fighting for Blogger Freedom. May not like them, but they’re in a weird way helping us out if they win this thing and the fact that Denton continually stands up for his company is admirable.
Those Gawker dipshits are the worst, hope the Hulk runs wild on them
Uhh, no. I'm never siding with Gawker ever. Worst group of websites ever.
Those Gawker dipshits are the worst, hope the Hulk runs wild on them
Hawks recap? Where is it? Did you know there used to be a two line pass rule? Do you know what the new no touch icing rule is? Going with no and no.
Hulkamania running wild brother!
Nate is dead. You killed Nate. 3 wrestling blogs you took from under the little guy’s nose. RIP
This one is for us BROTHER
Need more pics of Heather Clem
best wrastler of all time was the hurricane
Whatcha gonna do when the hulkster hires a Jew!
@fatcats- Why you such a dick ?
Uhh, no. I’m never siding with Gawker ever. Worst group of websites ever.
@hamporter I am not a hardo. BC just never posts anything related to the actual game of hockey. He is strictly win/loss. Prove me wrong
Hulk Hogan can eat a bag of dicks for making me support Gawker on this one.
If one lawsuit could take down smut site Gawker, mainly because the owner doesn’t have enough dough to bail out the company, Barstools future looks pretty iffy. Sure hope Big Cat and KFC are smart enough not to be on paper anywhere as partial owners of the site.
Leg drop those Gawker pansies brother!
Jezebel is Gawker Media. Why would you ever side with them?
Fatcatstats, you gonna post the same thing in every blog today? Jesus dude, it’s not hard, every city is set up the same. Main writer and team specific guys. Go outside or something.
“Sometimes when I sleep with my Hulk Hogan pillow pal and pretend it is a woman”–wilburham
if you put wannabe in front of european in “gay european founder” you have el pres.
@fatcatstats who gives a fuck. Don’t you have algebra finals today?
@tommyboysnuka Hey dipshit, if your gonna write for a sport, the least we should expect is knowledge of that sport. Recap of BCs hockey blogs. Pregame: “Huggeeee GAME”. Post game after win: “WE WON”. After a loss: nothing.
It’s pathetic. Bandwagon clown
He does post after losses, all the time. And if it bothers you to the point of commenting on every single blog all day why not just stop reading the Chicago site?
Safe to say Big Cat owns fatcatstats life, never seen someone so upset in a comment section before.
Gawker refused to post any pics of JLaw due to respecting her privacy but had no problem posting the Hogan video claiming its their right to report. This sort of double standard is what has made Gawker famous
What a ya gonna do! Let’s go Hulk
They should settle this via Trial by Combat
Cuncel Da Gawker
Good i hope they have to close shop. Fuck Gawker, Fuck Deadspin, Fuck io9, and fuck Jizzabell, i mean jezebell. All those shit sites are just cesspools man hate and liberal biased bullshit. Fuck em all.
Big Cat: Here is a well-reasoned point about how this could set a dangerous legal precedent for other blogs, such as BarstoolSports dot com.
Stoolies: GTFO nerd, Gawker sucks and Hogan ruulz, I hope he wins. Brb, going to go have sex with my sister.
What the fuck are you talking about? Love you BC, but fuck Jezebel.
@fatcatstats All you do is troll. You’re the fucking worst. How do you actually do it? Just curious as a person. You responded to Bigcat the other day saying thanks for recognizing you as a troll. Why are you still doing it?
Gawker media and progressive liberals can suck on 27in. pythons for all I care.
The reason why they are in trouble is because their retard owner didn’t take down the sex tape when requested. Kind of like how Pres posted the Howitzer, if he never took it down Brady would have sued his balls off.
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