Nick Denton, the founder, and CEO of online media company Gawker Media, has filed for bankruptcy.
The move was deemed necessary after Denton struggled to protect his financial assets in the aftermath of a court ruling in favor of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued Gawker and Denton in a high-profile civil case earlier this year. Although Denton is said to be worth between $10 million and $50 million in assets, his bankruptcy paperwork indicates that he has somewhere between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities. As such, Denton claims that he will be unable to cover the massive jury award given to Hogan.
Hogan’s lawsuit led to a high-profile trial that resulted in the jury finding in favor of the former pro wrestling superstar and awarding him $140 million in damages. Hogan sued Gawker and named Denton in the lawsuit after Gawker.com posted video excerpts of Hogan having sex.
Denton specifically filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will allow him to protect his assets from Hogan in the event that the jury award is upheld.
Denton remains optimistic that Gawker.com will not have to shutter its online websites and lay off workers as a result of the Hulk Hogan jury award. Shortly after formally filing his bankruptcy paperwork, Denton issued a statement – online, naturally – declaring that Gawker has “resilient brands” and that the company “will thrive under new ownership, when the sale closes in the news few weeks.” Gawker Media is currently going through its own Chapter 11 bankruptcy sale process, which has allowed the company to remain operational despite the massive financial liabilities stemming from the Hogan lawsuit.
In the coming weeks, it is expected that A.J. Daulerio, one of the editors of Gawker.com and another individual who is potentially liable for the jury award in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, will also have to file for bankruptcy protection.
For more information, check out the Yahoo.com article, “Gawker Founder Nick Denton Files for Bankruptcy Protection.”