Is this the end of Gawker Media? The besieged online media company filed for bankruptcy on Friday after years of protracted legal battles at least partially orchestrated by tech billionaire Peter Thiel.
The company said its estimated assets were between $50 million and $100 million. Estimated liabilities were $100 million to $500 million. Gawker has a firm bid, however, from publisher Ziff Davis, which has itself gone through bankruptcy in the past, to purchase the shop for $100 million after its legal troubles are settled, Recode reported.
The filing comes after a St. Petersburg, Florida, court recently hit Gawker with a $140 million ruling for publishing a sex tape in 2012 starring plaintiff Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea), the retired pro wrestler.
Gawker CEO and founder Nick Denton and former editor A.J. Daulerio had refused to take down the video, depicting Hogan's sexual escapades with the wife of his onetime friend DJ Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem.
The media company has assured the press it is confident to reverse the verdict on appeal.
A bombshell development in the Hogan-Gawker saga broke last month when Silicon Valley power Peter Thiel took credit for waging a secret legal war against the site to bring it down.
Thiel's vendetta goes back to 2007, when the site attempted to out him (accurately) as gay; he also described Gawker's onetime tech blog Valleywag as "the Silicon Valley equivalent of al Qaeda."