Gawker Media wants to sue Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times.

Gawker Media is hitting back.

It is looking into filing a potential lawsuit against Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, the man financing Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, according to Forbes’ Ryan Mac.

A Gawker source who wished to remain anonymous has confirmed the report with Business Insider.

“The lawyers are exploring whether this could be a case of tortious interference, racketeering or other potential claims,” a source inside Gawker told Forbes.

Gawker is trying to figure out whether Thiel broke any laws.

This news comes on the same day that Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In March, Hogan was awarded $140 million in damages stemming from a Gawker article published in 2012, which included a clip of Hogan having sex along with commentary. Bankruptcy allows Gawker to avoid having its assets seized while it continues to appeal.

“Even with his billions, Thiel will not silence our writers. Our sites will thrive – under new ownership – and we’ll win in court,” Denton said in a tweet.

Forbes broke the news in late May that billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel had secretly financed Hogan’s lawsuit and others against Gawker Media in an effort to put the website out of business.

“I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest,” Thiel, whom Gawker reportedly outed as gay in 2007, told The New York Times.

Denton has said that he is confident that Gawker will prevail on appeal, but in the meantime, his company is up for auction. Publisher Ziff Davis has made a “firm” bid to buy Gawker Media, in its entirety, for “less than $100 million,” Recode reports.

Denton had a cheeky comment for Thiel on Friday on Twitter:

Peter Thiel and Gawker have not responded to requests for comment by Business Insider.

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