Gawker, Hulk Hogan settle lawsuit: ‘The saga is over’
NEW YORK — Hulk Hogan and the remnants of Gawker Media have struck a confidential settlement agreement, rewarding the wrestler with untold millions of dollars.
“After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached. The saga is over,” Gawker founder Nick Denton wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
“Hulk Hogan’s retirement will be comfortable.”
The exact amount of the settlement is not known. But the deal ends ongoing litigation between the wrestler and the media company, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year after Hogan won a $140 million judgment from a Florida jury.
Two other pending cases against Gawker are also being resolved through settlements, sources involved in the talks said. Verbal agreements were reached last week, the sources said, but were up in the air until this week.
One of the cases involves Shiva Ayyadurai, a man who claims to have invented email, who sued Gawker for damages after the web site criticized him. The other case involves Ashley Terrill, who was also the subject of unflattering coverage.
After the unfavorable verdict for Gawker, the company was effectively forced into bankruptcy. After a court auction, the company’s assets were sold to Univision. It now operates all of the company’s websites with the exception of the flagship Gawker.com.
Denton said in Wednesday’s blog post that he believed the appeals court would have reduced or eliminated “the runaway Florida judgment against Gawker, the writer of the Hogan story and myself personally.”
Furthermore, “we expected to prevail in those other two lawsuits by clients of Charles Harder, the lawyer backed by Peter Thiel,” he wrote.
“But all-out legal war with Thiel would have cost too much, and hurt too many people, and there was no end in sight,” Denton wrote. Wednesday’s settlement “allows us all to move on, and focus on activities more productive than endless litigation.”