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Tech Billionaire Peter Thiel Revealed as Backer in Hogan's Gawker Suit

by Associated Press / / Source: Associated Press
Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sits in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Pool via ReutersREUTERS

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Billionaire Peter Thiel says he bankrolled Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media because he "thought it was worth fighting back" against an outlet he calls a "singularly terrible bully."

The PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor tells The New York Times that Hogan's lawsuit is one of several against Gawker that he has financially backed.

 Peter Thiel, partner of Founders Fund, speaks during the panel discussion "In Tech We Trust? A Debate with Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen" at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Thiel told the newspaper his plan has been several years in the making. He was publicly outed as gay in a 2007 post on the company's Valleywag blog. Still, he says his motive is "less about revenge and more about specific deterrence."

Hogan won a $140 million invasion-of-privacy verdict two months ago against Gawker for posting a sex tape of him. The company plans to appeal a judge's denial Wednesday of a new trial or a reduction in the verdict's amount.

Legal experts say there's nothing illegal about someone financing a lawsuit.

Thiel, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $2.7 billion, did not immediately respond to interview requests.

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