Earlier in the week, a Florida judge ruled that Gawker must immediately pay Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea the $140 million awarded him in an invasion of privacy verdict rendered in March. Gawker had requested a stay for making the payment.
Gawker filed its bankruptcy paperwork in New York City but also faces other lawsuits in multiple other states.
Many financial observers were not surprised by the bankruptcy filing from the popular website. Filing for bankruptcyhas automatically stopped any legal proceedings on the $140 million reward and essentially delayed any payments necessitated so that they do not accrue overdue debts.
The Chapter 11 filing from Gawker should not affect their current operations as a company, but does indeed buy them time. In January, Gawker sold minority stake in the company to Columbus Nova Technology Partners and its primary, Russian billionaire, Viktor Vekselberg.
Many believe the sale was in anticipation of the lawsuit from "Hulk Hogan" Bollea and the potential loss that the company would suffer.
Forbeshas reported that venture capitalist and Facebook board member, Peter Thiel, has secretly been financing all of the lawsuits against Gawker and its subsidiary sites, saying that it is his hope to punish severely or eventually end the media company.Spokespersons for Thiel have declined comment.
"Even with his billions, Thiel will not silence our writers," tweeted Gawker CEO and founder, Nick Denton."Our sites will thriveunder new ownershipand we'll win in court."