You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Pierre Omidyar involved in effort to help Gawker in its appeal

TechCrunch TechCrunch 27/05/2016 Connie Loizos

Well, this story keeps getting more and more interesting.

According to a newly published account in the New York Post, Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, is involved in an effort to help Gawker Media in its appeal of a $140 million judgement that was awarded to Hulk Hogan following Gawker’s release of a sex tape involving the former wrestler. Specifically, First Look Media, an online news venture that includes the The Intercept and which is backed by Omidyar, is reaching out to other media organizations to file friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Gawker.

According to the The Post, by “filing the amicus briefs in support of Gawker, First Look could effectively elevate the trial into a First Amendment rights case,” one that would pit the media organizations supporting Gawker against a powerful foe of the organization: billionaire Peter Thiel.

As is widely known by now, Thiel revealed earlier this week that he’s been financially aiding Hogan’s case, to the tune of $10 million. The reason, Thiel said: he deemed Gawker Media a bully whose work often had no connection with public’s interest.

Thiel did not respond to requests for comment this week.

We’re reaching out to Omidyar right now.

Thiel was regularly written about in a now-shuttered Gawker property called Valleywag. Other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, many of whom were also written about by the outlet, have largely rallied around Thiel since his disclosure.

Omidyar was also featured periodically in Valleywag, though its related coverage was relatively tame compared to some of its posts about other Silicon Valley executives.

First Amendment specialists and reporters, however, have voiced concern that Thiel’s involvement could increase a practice that is already on the rise, which is that of third-parties funding legal cases in order to serve their own means.

Stay tuned; story developing!

More from TechCrunch

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon