Tech billionaire Peter Thiel revealed on May 25 that he was the one who helped fund wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan's successful privacy lawsuit against news and gossip website Gawker.
In an interview with The New York Times, the PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor said he had spent close to $10 million to bankroll the Hulkster's legal battle against Gawker as a way to get back at the news website for outing him in 2007.
"I can defend myself [but] most of the people they attack are not people in my category," Thiel said.
The businessman pointed out that even someone as rich and famous as Hulk Hogan didn't have enough resources to defend himself against Gawker's public attack.
The privacy lawsuit stems from Gawker's posting of a video that showed Hogan having sex with the wife of a friend in 2012. In March, a jury in Florida ruled in favor of the wrestling superstar and awarded him $140 million as payment for damages.
Gawker tried to file a motion to have a new trial, but was ultimately denied by a judge on Wednesday.
Thiel's own feud with the news website traces its roots in an article Gawker published in 2007 where it revealed that the billionaire investor was gay. The website claimed that the story was meant to expose a possible bias against gay businessmen perpetrated by some venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, but it came off more as accusatory toward Thiel.
Thiel perceived the article as an attack not only against him but against other members of the tech community as well. In 2009, he criticized Gawker's former blog "Valleywag," calling it the equivalent of the terrorist group al-Qaeda in Silicon Valley.
Despite helping Hogan get his victory against Gawker in the courts, Thiel said the news website's fate is not for him to decide.
He explained that if Americans want to support Gawker's practice of outing people and posting sex videos without the consent of those involved, then they will likely find some way to help save the news website, something that the tech billionaire said he cannot stop.