Litigation is expensive. And, given the complexity of the legal system, no one can predict its outcome. So, it's high-risk business. Most people, like celebrities such as Hulk Hogan, can't afford that kind of risk.
Therefore, the head of Gawker, Nick Denton, has been speculating recently that there had to be a deep pocket behind Hogan's lawsuit against the tabloid, him, and a former editor in chief (EIC). The litigation was about the invasion of Hogan's privacy. Gawker posted an online video of Hogan's having sex with a friend's wife. The Florida jury ruled in favor of Hogan.
As a result, collectively Gawker, Denton and the former EIC will have to pay $140 million. That is, if the jury verdict isn't overturned. Gawker is appealing.
Well, Denton wasn't being paranoid. Tonight, the New York Post reported that there was a deep pocket. That deep pocket is high-profile venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel.
Just recently, Thiel's commencement address to Hamilton College had been widely covered by the establishment media and blogs. His book "Zero to One" remains a best-seller and the bible for startups.
There has long been bad blood between Gawker and Thiel. In 2007, for example, the gossip tabloid disclosed that he was gay. That was before Thiel revealed that information about himself.
Thiel knows his way around litigation. He earned a law degree from Stanford University Law School. He practiced law for a large law firm. He even had interviewed at the U.S. Supreme Court for a clerkship with Antonin Scalia. But was turned down.
As yet, there hasn't been a response from Thiel to the media. When it comes, given Thiel's antipathy toward Gawker, it could be a stunner.