How Peter Thiel Bankrolled Hogan’s Gawker Smackdown

Peter Thiel's legal funding helped Hogan fight Gawker.

Hulk Hogan is a wrestling kingpin and has become a household name. Throughout his career, he had unappealing videos leaked, several lawsuits, etc. These scandals proved to be perfect material for media outlets.

One outlet in particular, Gawker Media, found a piece of scandalous material for its blog: an illicit tape of Hogan with a married woman. There was a problem though. This material was posted without Hogan’s consent, which led him to sue for invasion of privacy, defamation of character, etc.

Even though Hogan made good money from his days as a wrestler, it was no match for the huge media outlet’s vast resources. The case was taking longer than expected, and Hogan was taking a financial hit. That is, until he had the help of an anonymous funder: tech billionaire Peter Thiel.

How Lawsuit Funding Helped Hogan Maximize Settlement

Often in lawsuits, there is not a level playing ground. Especially in personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff could be up against a major corporation that has the resources to withstand a long trial. The defendant’s team will often use the plaintiff’s struggle to their advantage, and drag out a lawsuit. Unless a plaintiff seeks aid such as legal funding, this tactic can make the plaintiff settle sooner and for a lesser amount.

Gawker’s defense team attempted to do just that. It was to their shock and dismay when Hogan was able to withstand the nearly four year trial. Thiel’s legal funding made the difference, and helped serve justice. Ultimately, the jury found Gawker guilty and they had to pay Hogan a nice sum of $140 million.

Thiel’s War Against Gawker

The Hogan case was not the first time Thiel fought for the little guy. There is some personal history between Gawker and Thiel. Back in 2007, Gawker outed Thiel as gay. Several of his friends were affected by the media’s content as well.

Thiel sought justice by funding cases against Gawker, with the intention of running the media outlet out of business. His goal was to help those who were being attacked, but who did not have the resources to see justice be served. Thiel said that the postings on Gawker Media were “very painful and paralyzing for people who were targeted. I thought it was worth fighting back.”

He went on to say, “I can defend myself. Most of the people they attack are not people in my category. They usually attack less prominent, far less wealthy people that simply can’t defend themselves. Even someone like [Hulk Hogan] who is a millionaire and famous and a successful person didn’t quite have the resources to do this alone.

Thiel helped fund at least two cases (outside of Hogan’s) against Gawker.

How Legal Funding Levels the Playing Field

Legal funding helps the plaintiff stand a chance against larger corporations or more powerful and financially stable figures. Being able to withstand a long and tedious trial increases the chance of the plaintiff receiving a larger settlement.

You don’t have to be a celebrity or have a front page case to receive funding. Here at Uplift Legal Funding, we fight for justice for the plaintiff. Apply online or give us a call anytime at (800) 385-3660.