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Gawker Founder Nick Denton Files For Bankruptcy (nydailynews.com) 138

An anonymous reader quotes a report from New York Daily News: Gawker's founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy Monday after a Florida appeals court refused to give him an emergency order that would block wrestler Hulk Hogan from collecting on a $140 million jury verdict. The District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, Fla., denied a request by Gawker and Denton to stay a ruling by lower court judge Pamela Campbell -- who said Hogan could start collecting on his award immediately. But declaring bankruptcy will give Denton protection from collectors including Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea. In the filing, Denton says he has assets of $10 to $50 million and liabilities of $100 to $500 million. His debts includes $125 million that he owes to Hogan, an $11.5 million loan that he took out on June 10 from Silicon Valley Bank, a $50,000 loan he took from his 401(k) at Gawker and his Time Warner Cable bill for $120.88. The jury's March verdict was the result of Gawker's decision to publish a tape on the internet of Hogan having sex with a friend's wife. The former WWF star said it was an invasion of his privacy. Gawker filed for bankruptcy shortly after the jury's verdict, but Denton resisted, asking the bankruptcy court to protect him as part of the process. The federal court refused. Now that the Florida courts have opened the door for Hogan to start collecting from Denton, he is expected to follow Gawker into federal bankruptcy court in lower Manhattan.
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Gawker Founder Nick Denton Files For Bankruptcy

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  • Nice Guy (Score:5, Funny)

    by deadwill69 ( 1683700 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @05:02PM (#52623979)
    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!
    • by haruchai ( 17472 )

      Not sure that racist ass Hogan is much better; only now he can definitely be considered much wealthier.

  • Tough call (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattyj ( 18900 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @05:10PM (#52624017)

    That's a real Sophie's Choice trying to decide who to root for in this one. But in any case, you can't just post sex tapes online without consent from everyone in the actual tape. Remember that next time Kim Kardashian has a sex tape 'leaked' and somehow nobody gets sued over it.

    • It's a Sophie's choice if you're a fucking moron or aren't quite sure what "Sophie's Choice" is.
    • by Wuhao ( 471511 )

      Kim Kardashian did sue. She settled for $5 million, and also became famous.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Kinda revealing that she only got 5 mil for an entire sex tape that tons of people wanted to see, but hogan got 140 mil for a 1 minute clip of a sex tape that nobody wanted to see.

        So much for equal pay for equal work...

        • by Wuhao ( 471511 )

          Hulk got paid a finder's fee for discovering the world's least sympathetic defendant.

    • That's a real Sophie's Choice trying to decide who to root for in this one. But in any case, you can't just post sex tapes online without consent from everyone in the actual tape. Remember that next time Kim Kardashian has a sex tape 'leaked' and somehow nobody gets sued over it.

      Do you even know what Sophie's Choice is? There is no Sophie's Choice here :-

      A person's sex life is as private as they say it is.

      A courts order must be followed

      Should we withhold justice from people because of a private opinion they hold?

    • Peter Thiel is a creep and a tool, sure. But versus Gawker I'm solidly in his corner. Hell... I'd give a hearty three cheers and two thumbs up to Bernard Madoff, Dick Cheney, or even Bill Gates, if any of them were the one destroying gawker.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I didn't know who Thiel was before this happened, and now that I do I still support that side. All Thiel did was fund Hogan in the case over what Gawker actually did, deserved punishment for, and would probably have gotten a slap on the wrist for otherwise. It isn't like he orchestrated some 8 year long clandestine master plan to manipulate Gawker into posting sex tapes and ignoring court orders.

        • Re:Tough call (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @07:40PM (#52624989)

          Well, there can't really be any much doubt that Thiel was planning his revenge for a long time and just waiting for the right opportunity to do so. The guy's company makes software to help the three-letter-agencies spy on us. And he named it Palantir... as in the talisman that the dark lord Sauron used to corrupt Denethor and Saruman, driving the first to madness and suicide, and turning the latter into a minion of pure evil devoted to the destruction of mankind. Like I said: a creep and a tool; or at the very least someone with some seriously Blofeldian aspirations.

          But every time I think of Gawker, all of its works, all of its people, all of its history, all of its existence, being utterly consumed and destroyed; I must confess I giggle a little on the inside. It's just a shame they're based in New York and it'd be impractical to raze their building and plow the land through with salt.

      • by Elric55 ( 180616 )

        I think this is an ignorant statement. Gawker Media owns more than just 'Gawker'. Their other websites have actual content. I'm pretty sure we can all agree losing Gizmodo, Kotaku, and Lifehacker would be a great loss.

        List taken from wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gawker_Media)
        Deadspin – Sports
        Gawker.com – New York City media and gossip, tabloid
        Gizmodo – Gadget and technology lifestyle
        Jalopnik – Cars and automotive culture
        Jezebel – Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for women
        Kotaku

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Hmm. You mean Jezebel isn't just aggressive feminist female supremacists?

          Losing Gawker is good, losing Kotaku is good and losing Jezebel makes the whole planet a healthier place.

    • by hrieke ( 126185 )

      Can't root for any of them. Terry however is the real tragedy here.
      He's been used by everyone.

    • you can't just post sex tapes

      This is all about Peter Theil, who is bankrupting Hogan's case. [gawker.com]

      That's not why Hogan sued at all, but more importantly Peter Theil is funding the whole thing in retrobution for Gawker outing him as gay around 2008 (while he was funding GOP which has anti-gay policies).

      Gawker outed Theil because he was a hypocrite.

      Hogan sued about another video.

      Here's an explanation: [gawker.com]

      Hogan filed the claim because he was terrified that one of the other tapes, which memorialized his rant about hi

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Gawker outed Theil because they thought they could make money off it. Don't pretend for a second that they aren't at least equally trashy.
        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          Equally trashy? That's like seeing a father beat up a guy who raped his 2 years old daughter, then say "don't blame the father, the rapist is at least equally wrong".

          Gawker made money destroying lives. If anything, every single contributor to Gawker in history should go bankrupt too.

      • So choosing for the lesser of two evils is fine if you choose Hillary over Trump, but is hypocritical if you choose the Republicans over the Democrats?

        Or is it hypocritical to be for some policies of a political party and against others?

        Or is it hypocritical to both be gay and be against gay marriage?

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @05:17PM (#52624065)

    Denton says he has assets of $10 to $50 million and liabilities of $100 to $500 million. His debts includes...a $50,000 loan he took from his 401(k) at Gawker and his Time Warner Cable bill for $120.88...

    Was there a point in listing a $120 cable bill as a liability for a man allegedly worth millions? I hope they didn't forget to count that Starbucks gift card he got for Christmas with his assets. Fucking seriously...

    • If you're filing for bankruptcy, you have to list all your creditors. If you don't list something, then you risk having it not be covered by the bankruptcy.
      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        All true, but nobody is questioning why he reported it in his bankruptcy filings.

        They are questioning why it made the news, the article, and even the /. article summary. You know the summary where the most important bits of the article are summarized?

        It's not even slightly newsworthy.

        • They are questioning why it made the news, the article, and even the /. article summary. You know the summary where the first three paragraphs of the linked article are just copy-pasted?

          FTFY

    • Was there a point in listing a $120 cable bill as a liability for a man allegedly worth millions?

      He is not-so-allegedly worth nothing if he is filing for bankruptcy.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      I think the point was humor. "Heh," you might have said upon reaching the end of that list. That is all.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    He (hulk) could make a claim he is an individual and entitled to superior claim since the banks are covered by ability to write down loans on a normal and customary basis, but this is an extraordinary circumstance for him.

  • I'm assuming that this Silicon Valley Bank must do some kind of background check and doesn't just go handing out an $11.5 million loan to anyone. The original trial verdict and the damages were set way back in March. With the slim chance of this appeal working, why would the bank even opt to give him a loan in June?

    Seems like either he hid that verdict from the bank, or someone at the bank didn't do their homework, or both. That large of a failed loan could be enough to put some smaller banks out of busi

  • Is he not shielded by the corporate structure of Gawker? Surely he didn't set up a company where ending up in court was inevitable without shielding his personal assets from liability right?
    • I believe that Hogan sued both Gawker as a company and Denton personally - he's jointly and severally liable for the judgment.
    • That isn't how it works...

      Incorporation only protects you from actions the company takes, not what you personally do... Since HE personally approved the tape and didn't take it down when ordered to, he has personal liability...

      A corporation doesn't shield you from your own actions...

  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Monday August 01, 2016 @05:24PM (#52624103) Homepage Journal

    The sad reality is that Gawker's broken economic model isn't that different from the the others, and ALL of the mass media (that I know about) is similarly broken. Gawker wanted lots of eyeballs to sell to advertisers, and the website just pushed the edge too hard in their quest for more eyeballs. They fell off, went boom.

    The rest of the mass media is competing for eyeballs with Trump antics and disaster porn. Still the same quest for eyeballs to sell.

    Gawker went one way, but only a minor difference that Trump has milked the free publicity all the way to the so-called Republican nomination. More serious difference when terrorists milk the free publicity. More like a death spiral on both sides. The mass media is killing itself trying to give the biggest and best free publicity to the terrorists, while the terrorists are killing other people and just trying to kill enough this time to get more publicity than last time.

    Alternative economic model to address that last problem: Stop competing for eyeballs when that is supporting the terrorists. Set up a special non-competitive news office (SNCNO?) to handle such publicity-seeking manufactured news. If a story falls into the terrorism-support bucket, then this SNCNO will handle it. They will produce unified reports of the terrorism, and all of the mass media outlets will be allowed to use as much or as little of those reports as they want to. The reports will be accurate consensus of the news, but with no sensationalism or competitive considerations. This economic model would put the shoe on the other foot. Everyone would still need to report the real news, but there would be no incentive to play up the terrorism parts, and the incentive to compete for more eyeballs would be on the REAL news, not the fake manufactured news.

    Other economic models available upon polite request. Too bad I don't have an economic model to sell them. They are just too intuitively obvious to the most casual observer (in the literal, not idiomatic, sense).

    • Let the other guy get the money that comes from those eyeball baiting news stories?

      Yeah, let me sell that to Fox News and CNN, see how that goes....

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        Yes, you see the problem, so at least you are a sufficiently casual observer of that aspect.

        The implementation path does seem quite difficult. Let's say you could get some sort of consensus among the responsible news organizations (if any still exist), then how do you get the bad boys to come along? (I'm sure that FAUX "news" is bad, but these days CNN may be transcending the very notion of "bad".) Appeal to their patriotism? "We have to show Trump's empty podium! An actual speech from Bernie Sanders doesn'

    • Set up a special non-competitive news office (SNCNO?) to handle such publicity-seeking manufactured news

      I think you either misspelled "NPR" or "BBC" but I can't decide which country you're from;)

      Also: blowing people up with bombs and shooting people is news. There's an old adage from the newspaper era "If it bleeds, it leads" which predates television.

      Lastly, if stopping terrorism is your goal, maybe we could stop invading/bombing foreign countries? We've not tried that in over a decade -- it might even wo

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        It's spelled NHK here, but their economic model is broken for other reasons.

        I'm trying to focus on the distinctions among types of news. I think it is perfectly reasonable to compete for eyeballs on the basis of investigations into real problems. They used to call them "Scoops" in those pre-TV days you mentioned. These days, the speed of the Internet has basically destroyed that economic model. There are also naturally occurring news stories like floods and earthquakes where good news coverage is downright

        • You want to establish a 'Ministry of Truth' to determine which stories are legit and can be covered by news organizations? What could go wrong?

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            No, that is not what I wrote.

            Given your comment, is there any reason I should regard you as intellectually honest or writing in good faith?

            My first suggestion is that you might start by READING what I actually wrote. If you cannot understand some part of it, then you should feel free to ask a question. If you cannot understand any of it, then perhaps it is too complicated an idea for you to understand. I will still attempt to answer questions, but my time is limited.

            • Didn't write it out, but strongly implied that something should be done about 'fake news stories' being reported. Also in favor of 'alternative economic models', smells strongly of authoritarianism.

              I suspect you started this thought process by lying to yourself. You have no place to criticise intellectual honesty. I quote:

              Alternative economic model to address that last problem: Stop competing for eyeballs when that is supporting the terrorists. Set up a special non-competitive news office (SNCNO?) to ha

              • by shanen ( 462549 )

                No, once again you are twisting and distorting what I actually wrote, perhaps projecting your own fears.

                Maybe you should try to figure out what my sig means in terms of my underlying philosophy. As it applies to this topic, and though you don't seem to justify the effort, I would summarize it that free competition is a fundamentally good thing, but you should not let your true enemies twist the rules of the competitive game against you.

                Far more than your reply merits, but have you considered the overall eco

    • Its not hard to get free publicity when the Media is desperate for you to not see Voter Fraud and the absolute cest pool that is the Democratic National Committee and what they did to get hillary on the podium. All funded by..... Media Billionaires including the Koch brothers, odd I thought they were REP but nope, love this murderous traitor Secretary of state. Feel free to watch Clinton Money movie, or ask why all the dead people in the last 4 weeks around the Clintons.

      Africa may never recover from wh
      • Do you actually believe what you wrote there? If so, then you are ignoring reality to an amazing degree or you are unable to perceive and understand reality. In either of those cases, there is no reason to attempt a discussion.

        If you do NOT believe what you wrote, then there is some basis for a discussion around the question "Why?" The most rational reason would be if someone is paying you, but the problem in that case is that you are probably not supposed to admit it.

        Seems to be an impasse. Let me predict

  • Of course.

    Only the ultra rich and corporations get to walk out on their debts in Soviet Amerika

  • Seriously? (Score:2, Funny)

    by tehlinux ( 896034 )

    Am I the only one that thinks a $140m settlement is a bit steep for a sex tape of two meth addicts?!

  • Uhhh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday August 01, 2016 @06:35PM (#52624621)

    His debts includes $125 million that he owes to Hogan, an $11.5 million loan that he took out on June 10

    IANAL but I think the bank that loaned him the money can probably nail him to the wall for fraud. It's one thing to take out a loan and go bankrupt, and quite another to take out a loan when you plan on declaring bankruptcy a month later. Any decent lawyer can probably make a case for intent to defraud here. Pretty sure he didn't specify this on his loan application...

    • Bank has a responsibility to do due diligence.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        Yeah, but part of that is making you fill out forms for which you can go to jail if you lie on them.
    • It might be secured against a house or something. The bank and Denton could have negotiated the loan knowing he couldn't repay, but they get a house, and he doesn't have to put it on the market to sell it. I dunno, I'm not a banker.
      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        He could also reaffirm the debt. It's not uncommon to reaffirm a mortgage or car loan when filing for Chapter 7. You usually keep the property, continue paying, and everyone goes on their merry way. Now it's probably a little different with that big of a loan, but it's definitely not automatic fraud either.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @07:50AM (#52627235)
    The Hogan lawsuit was paid for by Peter Thiel, whom Gawker/Denton dared to cross.

    Bottom line is: death to independent journalism and all money to the already wealthy and powerful. Think what you're told to think via the pre-approved breadcrumbs of information allowed for you by a handful of one-percenters. This is hand-in-glove with the willful destruction of public education in red states, as an ignorant populace is a controllable populace.

    USA! indeed.
    • Bottom line is: death to independent journalism and all money to the already wealthy and powerful.

      Problem with this idea is that Gawker isn't journalism. Hmm, maybe once or twice, but mostly, not. It's mostly repeating something someone else said, but with more bold and italics, and bullshit conjecture.

    • by n7ytd ( 230708 )

      So they were doing a public service, preserving the People's right to know about Hulk Hogan's sex tape? Such lofty high journalism here...

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