Bankrupt online media site Gawker,
which posted a story alleging Donald Trump's signature poufy hair is the work of a $60,000 hair restoration treatment,
is now getting threatened with legal action.
The push is coming from a lawyer whom Gawker claims is hired by tech billionaire Peter Thiel
, the co-founder of PayPal and a Facebook investor who reportedly spent $10 million
to help the wrestler Hulk Hogan sue Gawker – and sink the outlet.
Hogan in March won the more-than-$100 million lawsuit over Gawker's publication of a sex tape.
According to Gawker, lawyer Charles Harder fired off a letter on behalf of the owner Edward Ivari of Ivari International, which allegedly provided the hair treatment, claiming the story was "false and defamatory," invaded Ivari’s privacy, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and committed "tortious interference" with Ivari’s business relations.
Among his demands, along with removal of the story, were an apology — and that Gawker reveal its sources.
The site issued a long refutal, concluding: "In other words: A Thiel-funded attorney is helping a man sue Gawker Media over an article that comes nowhere near invading his privacy, concerns a clear matter of public interest, and explicitly states that the subject is not guilty of a crime."
"While Thiel has acknowledged funding multiple legal attacks, including Hogan’s, nobody knows for sure whether he’s behind all of Harder’s efforts to harm the company, or just some of them, or if he can even control what his money is used for," Gawker writes.
"If Gawker Media is, as Thiel claims, so serially guilty of egregious invasions of privacy against powerless individuals, why is he throwing his lot in with a lawyer intent on punishing Gawker for writing about Edward Ivari, the man who may have restored Trump’s hair to greatness…"
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