Gawker Media founder files for personal bankruptcy

Jessica Dinapoli, Reuters

Posted at Aug 02 2016 02:29 AM

Nick Denton, founder of Gawker, talks with his legal team before Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, testifies in court, in St Petersburg, Florida, United States. File Photo via Reuters

Gawker Media Chief Executive Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy protection on Monday, according to court documents that named his largest creditor as Hulk Hogan, a former professional wrestler who won a $140 million court judgment against the website over a sex tape.

Denton listed assets of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million in his Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy in June after Hogan won the judgment in a Florida lawsuit. The wrestler had accused the site of violating his privacy by posting a sex tape featuring Hogan having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, the radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

(READ: Billionaire backs Hulk Hogan's lawsuit vs Gawker: Forbes)

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, an early backer and board member of Facebook, helped fund Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker and Denton. Thiel's involvement, which stemmed from his ire over Gawker's writings about him and his friends in Silicon Valley, raised alarm bells in U.S. media circles over the prospect of wealthy individuals using the courts to muzzle the press.

Reuters reported earlier that Denton would file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday.