Skip to comments.Lawyer Who Felled 'Gawker' Sues Gizmodo, 'Deadspin'
Posted on 06/27/2017 5:32:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Less than a year after famed (or infamous) media gossip site Gawker was forced to close by a eight-figure settlement in favor of wrestler Hulk Hogan, the successor to the former Gawker Media empire finds itself in the legal crosshairs.
It's for another lawsuit seeking major damages and its the same lawyer taking aim.
This time, attorney Charles Harder, who has also represented First Lady Melania Trump in her libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail, is handling the lawsuit on behalf of RJ Bell, real name Randall James Busack, the founder and CEO of Pregame.com, a sports handicapping Web site.
Pregame.com was the subject of a critical piece published by sports and culture news site Deadspin in June 2016.
Bell is suing Deadspins publisher, Gizmodo Media, and journalist Ryan Goldberg for $10 million, alleging the Deadspin story by Goldberg contains untrue and defamatory statements about Pregames business model, which damaged the companys reputation.
Gizmodo Media is the company formed to continue publishing the former properties of Gawker Media after the latter declared bankruptcy. Univision bought Gizmodo Media for $135 million in August 2016.
According to the lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court last week, the Deadspin article, titled How Americas Favorite Sports Betting Expert Turned A Suckers Game Into An Industry, claimed Pregame was surreptitiously profiting from its customers losing bets by receiving what amount to kickbacks from online sports bookies.
Contrary to this claim, Bells lawsuit contends that Pregame hasnt had any business connections to online bookies for almost a decade, well before the article was first published last year. It also claims Deadspin published incorrect data about its handicapping history in support of its false allegations.
Bell claims that he will donate any legal award or settlement money from Goldberg to fund journalism scholarships at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
One key question that remains unanswered. Is Bells lawsuit being paid for by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel?
Thiel secretly bankrolled the lawsuit brought by Hogan, real name Terry Gene Bollea, against Gawker.com for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape apparently recorded without his knowledge.
Hogan and Gawker Media eventually settled for $31 million. Thiel later revealed that he had funded Hogans lawsuit in retribution for a story published by Gawkersome years before, in 2007, outing Thiel as a gay man. The $140 million judgment awarded to Hogan by a Florida jury forced Gawker Media to declare bankruptcy, shut down flagship Gawker.com, and sell its remaining properties to Univision. However, its unclear whether Thiel wishes to continue his vendetta against Gawker.coms former siblings.
He’s a homo but I don’t care, Peter Thiel is a GENIUS and he’s fair.
If he wanted to destroy Gawker, then he had a SUPER huge reason to do so and I’m glad for the outcome.
I hope alll the little pieces of his former nemesis get ground into fine powder and skattered to the four winds.
“If he wanted to destroy Gawker, then he had a SUPER huge reason to do so and Im glad for the outcome.”
One of Gawker’s publications outed Thiel as gay. He was not amused.
This lawyer brought down Gawker? Can he do the same for CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS?
SanFran is FULL of gays who right off the bat sit their Gay Baggage right in the front row of whatever working relationship you find yourself in them with.
Peter Thiel never did that. He wasn’t in the closet, per se, but he NEVER shoved his lifestyle in peoples’ faces, he never marketed himself that way, never sought to “right wrongs”, etc.
He’s exactly the kind of gay guy I had no problem working with when I was in the Bay Area.
This other colossal jerk made a decision for him and wantonly splashed his private matters all over the front page, and for NO reason, basically.
I seriously hope Thiel CONTINUES to put the hurt on this guy, screw him up, cost him money and push his reputation into the deepest mud.
Thiel loves Trump and is a great speaker for Conservativism in Silicon Valley, where Conservatives are an openly hunted species.
He’s very, very brave for that.
CRUSH gawker. DESTROY gawker.
I hope Deadspin gets crushed. Deadspin is a bunch of pajama boys pretending to be sport journalists.
Good. I go to gizmodo to see liberals cry.
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