Just days after former Gawker employees closed their failed crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, the former news website received a bit from billionaire, Peter Thiel, who reportedly caused its demise a couple years ago.
As previously reported, Gawker was forced to shut down after Hogan sued the website when it published porn video of the former WWE wrestler. Various reports confirmed that Thiel secretly financed the lawsuit that award Hogan more than $140 million, causing Gawker to go bankrupt. According to the employees that launched the Kickstarter campaign, Gawker is currently up for auction and “the person” (more than likely referring to Thiel) who drove it into bankruptcy now wants to purchase it.
“We’re a group of former Gawker Media employees across editorial, tech, and business, and we want to put in our own bid to buy it back. We believe the site can thrive in an entirely membership funded model.”
The employees also revealed that more than a dozen Gawker Media alums were involved in the crowdfunding project, including Gawker’s founding editor, Elizabeth Spiers, who was advising and is planning to join the board of directors if the group successfully purchases the website.
“If we don’t raise enough money to buy the site, we will preserve the archive and launch a new publication under a different name. We’re bringing this back whether we have the Gawker URL or not. So if you miss Gawker like we do and feel like supporting our mission, become a member, tell your friends, share this project, and send us your tips. We have work to do.”
According to Reuters, Thiel has submitted an offer to Gawker but according to the court documents Gawker’s bankruptcy planned administrator, Will Holden, and the website’s bankruptcy attorney, Gregg Galardi, are seeking to block the bid. The media outlet reported that Galardi asked U.S. bankruptcy court judge in November to deny Thiel’s request to bid and also argued Thiel is “not a ‘proper’ purchaser” because he could end up as the target of litigation.
Gawker has also received bids from Kevin Lee, co-founder and executive chairman of marketing firm DidIt. He stated that he plans to use the website to raise funds for readers’ preferred charities.
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