Tech billionaire Peter Thiel funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit to take down Gawker which outed him, Tim Cook, and others

“A billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur was outed as being gay by a media organization. His friends suffered at the hands of the same gossip site,” Andrew Ross Sorkin reports for The New York Times. “Nearly a decade later, the entrepreneur secretly financed a lawsuit to try to put the media company out of business.

“That is the back story to a legal case that had already grabbed headlines: The wrestler Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape, and a Florida jury recently awarded the wrestler, whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, $140 million,” Sorkin reports. “What the jury — and the public — did not know was that Mr. Bollea had a secret benefactor paying about $10 million for the lawsuit: Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and one of the earliest investors in Facebook.”

“A 2007 article published by Gawker’s Valleywag blog was headlined, ‘Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.’ That and a series of articles about his friends and others that he said ‘ruined people’s lives for no reason’ drove Mr. Thiel to mount a clandestine war against Gawker,” Sorkin reports. “He funded a team of lawyers to find and help ‘victims’ of the company’s coverage mount cases against Gawker.”

“Mr. Thiel is known as a brilliant entrepreneur. Born in West Germany and raised in California, he became a chess prodigy, an academic star and a promising lawyer before settling down in the Bay Area to found companies,” Sorkin reports. “A libertarian, Mr. Thiel is a pledged delegate for Donald J. Trump for the 2016 Republican National Convention… Mr. Thiel was not the only boldface name in Silicon Valley who was outed as gay by Gawker Media — Timothy D. Cook, the chief executive of Apple, is another example.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What we wrote back in January 2011 after Gawker’s Valleywag outed Tim Cook:

Vendettawag… “Cook, who is running Apple in Jobs’ absence, has been as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation,” but Gawker will out him anyway presumably because they were – allegedly – stupid enough to purchase a lost/stolen iPhone 4 prototype and publish detailed descriptions and photos of it online and Apple punched back hard.

So, now Steve’s on medical leave and, darn, it looks like they haven’t been able to buy his X-Rays to slap all over the Web, so they’ll settle for going after Cook, couched as a “profile,” by headlining something that Cook doesn’t mention publicly, much less trumpet, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with being a top Apple executive – or anything else for that matter.

Why not just call Cook the “most powerful man in Silicon Valley next to Steve Jobs?” And, where’s the ValleyWag article about “the most powerful heterosexual man in Silicon Valley?”

Gawker, as usual, comes off as petty, vindictive, and just plain sad.

Gawker’s Valleywag outs Tim Cook as ‘most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley’ – January 21, 2011


  1. I read gawker sites a lot, but after the whole gizmodo thing I lost a lot of interest in their coverage. That was absolutely wrong to knowingly buy a stolen phone and not return it… Assholes.

    Outing people, and going after people is their mo, and although I completely support the first amendment, and a free press, they’ve done plainly illegal things to get stories out. I’m glad Peter theil helped hulk hogan, he’s a millionaire and still didn’t have the resources to litigate this fully, so good for him helping.

    And honestly, when I was still out in the valley, valley wag was and probably is still seen as a massive problem. Sometimes they will publish worthwhile information, but most of it is rumor and sometimes is plainly vindictive.

    I don’t support any media organization that blatantly lies about people, or violates their privacy to disclose intimate details about their lives after the person explicitly says they do not want it published, or published information about private citizens without their consent. I also don’t support media organizations that blatantly lie about public figures, deliberately omit information about issues, and mischatacterize things for ratings and readership.

    Tabloids certainly have a right to exist, and so does a free press. But deliberately breaking the law numerous times to get a story, and release secret information is wrong. The whole iPhone 4 thing showed that organizations true colors.

          1. No, that is plainly your halfwit misanthropic troll-loving job. I am Peter Blood: Troll Hunter! Fighting the evils of site evil-doers & evil-losers, like, well, YOU.

            Hilarious how obvious rapacious & bilious trolls like you can’t help but fall all over themselves betraying themselves and their nefarious purpose so clearly. (Behave yourself and you have nothing to fear puerile one.)

  2. Odd. Why would Cook and others be reticent to talk about something they consider to be perfectly normal?
    Because it’s not normal. That’s why. And they know it’s not. It’s the only form of mental illness that doctors have been banned from treating.

    1. You’re an asshole. (If you’re being sincere in your comment)

      I’m gay, so you’re saying I have a mental illness? You realize that’s not a thing right? Im attracted to men, it happens in nature in every single species.

      Explain why you think there is something wrong with me….

      (Oh, btw, the reason people are afraid to come out or disclose their homosexuality is because of pig headed idiots like you…. Not because “we know it’s wrong” but because bigoted assholes might stone us to death because of some 2000 year old book that their own savior rejected and presaged the exact opposite of…. Get over it, Jesus was a hippie and told everyone to love everyone else….)

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