“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