One of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors has reportedly been footing the bill for former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s privacy battle with Gawker Media.
Forbes reports that the funding has been coming from Peter Thiel, a PayPal co-founder and one of the earliest backers of Facebook. Thiel is worth an estimated $2.7 billion, according to the publication.
“According to people familiar with the situation who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, Thiel, a co-founder and partner at Founders Fund, has played a lead role in bankrolling the cases Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hogan, brought against New York-based Gawker,” the story reports.
Thiel wasn’t commenting, but Forbes suggests his motivation stems from a long-running beef with Gawker. “Thiel, who is gay, has made no secret of his distaste for Gawker, which attempted to out him in late 2007 before he was open about his sexuality,” Forbes reports. “In 2009, Thiel told PEHub that now-defunct Silicon Valley-focused publication Valleywag, which was owned by Gawker, had the ‘psychology of a terrorist.’”
The report quotes Thiel saying at the time: “Valleywag is the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda.”