Nick Denton


Gawker Media can’t catch a break.

On Wednesday, a judge denied Gawker’s plea to lower the $140.1 million in damages a jury mandated it to pay to Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, in March.

Bollea sued Gawker for publishing clips of a leaked sex tape on its web site. The trial, which took place in St. Petersburg, Fla., ended in a jury siding with Bollea, and awarding him $115 million in compensatory damages and $25.1 million in punitive damages to come out of the pockets of Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor A.J. Daulerio.

Lawyers for the media organization decried the hefty amount and filed motions challenging the verdict and seeking a new trial.

According to Gawker, presiding judge Pamela Campbell denied those motions during a court hearing in St. Petersburg, Fla., today.

David Houston, a lawyer for Bollea said: “The court today denied Gawker’s request for a new trial and to reduce damages. Plaintiff Bollea believes rightfully so. Gawker has failed and continues to fail in recognizing their obligation to Bollea for their reprehensible behavior and method of doing what they call journalism. Their refusal to accept responsibility for their conduct and denial of the obvious continues to drive their litigation strategy.”

The news follows reports that Bollea’s lawsuit is being bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel, early Facebook investor and cofounder of PayPal.

A spokeswoman for Gawker offered: “We look forward to the legal process continuing and expect to be vindicated. Just days after Gawker Media’s site Gizmodo exposed that Facebook’s news section has suppressed certain points of view, we’ve now learned that a Facebook board member and a major funder of The Committee to Protect Journalists has been secretly funding a legal campaign against our journalists. There are very serious questions about whether Hulk Hogan financially benefitted and this case is far from over.”

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