The rumours seemed like something straight from a episode of HBO’s satirical “Silicon Valley” TV show: A wealthy
Silicon Valley venture capitalist was said to be funding the high-profile lawsuit by Hulk Hogan against the online gossip news site Gawker.
But now, several news reports are saying that it’s true, and the VC backing Hogan is Peter Thiel, one of the most colourful and successful VCs in the industry.
Thiel is said to hate Gawker. The site has written a lot of negative things about him over the years, from attempting to out him as gay back in 2007, to articles that portrayed him as odd, a misogynist, and a tax evader.
Enter Hulk Hogan. In March, a jury awarded Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) $140 million in damages for publishing a sex tape, and due to a curious change in the charges he brought against Gawker, Gawker’s insurance was not on the hook to pay for legal fees or damages.
Gawker is appealing, but if it loses, it looks like it will have to pay out of pocket, a potentially business-ending liability. On Wednesday, a judge in Florida denied Gawker’s motion for a new trial, which means the $140 million in damages awarded to Hulk Hogan will not be reduced.
It’s a situation ripe for jokes, and the good people on Twitter have not disappointed. Here are some of the funnier things people are saying:
Or really any concept that involves Peter Thiel sending a horde of Hulk Hugans to stop you.
— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) May 25, 2016
I’d rather that Peter Thiel just pay to have the Gawker staff staked out over anthills in a desert, and livestream it. Anthill As A Service.
— #pragma mark dagon (@mdhughes) May 25, 2016
Hulk Hogan was like “LET’S GET ‘EM BROTHER” and Thiel was all “Indeed, let’s.”
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) May 25, 2016
Atop his floating compound, an enraged Peter Thiel bellows into a Vertu “You assured me no one would know!” A hairless cat purrs on his lap.
— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) May 25, 2016