Hulk Hogan's sex tape could cost Gawker $100 million, but founder Nick Denton is prepared to go to war

Hulk hogan wrestlingAP ImagesHulk Hogan

Gawker Media is currently battling a lawsuit against professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

If Gawker loses the suit, which could cost the company up to $US100 million, it could force Gawker founder Nick Denton to sell the company or seek outside investment, Capital New York reports.

In 2012, Gawker published a “highlights reel” of a leaked sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan and Heather Clem, the wife of his friend, shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. Hogan sued Gawker later in 2012.

At an all-hands meeting earlier this month, Denton told his staff, “I have way, way less money than people think! … I don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to kind of bail the company out. If we are in an environment with higher business risk and higher legal risk, then the company is going to need somebody with deeper pockets and hopefully principles in order to keep it both commercially viable and editorially viable.”

Gawker founder Denton tells Business Insider the likelihood of the lawsuit sinking his company is “unlikely but possible.”

He has written his thoughts about the upcoming lawsuit, which is scheduled for July 6, in a Kinja post.

“Without someone actually having the gumption to fight these cases, journalists might as well resign themselves to a role as liaisons for PR people and stenographers for celebrities,” Denton writes. “As I told Capital: The story was a real sober take on a version of events that [Hogan] had been talking about. If you don’t defend that, then what do you defend? You might as well just take the First Amendment and tear it up.”

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