What's left of Gawker Media has settled its long-running legal feud with Hulk Hogan for a reported $31 million, far less than the $140-million judgment leveled against the company and its founder for posting a sex tape of the wrestler.
"After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached," Gawker founder Nick Denton wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "The saga is over."
Also as part of the settlement, three stories about Hogan will be removed from the web, Denton added.
Hogan, his legal team bankrolled by Silicon Valley scion Peter Thiel, sued Gawker Media after the website published a 90-second excerpt of his sex tape.
In addition to the $115 million judgment, Denton was ordered to personally pay Hogan $10 million. Gawker Media declared bankruptcy in June, and Denton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to prevent his assets from being seized.
The amount of the settlement that ends the subsequent appeals and ongoing litigation was not disclosed, but multiple outlets, including Reuters and Dow Jones, pegged it at $31 million.
The settlement also reportedly resolves two other cases involving people who received unflattering coverage by Gawker.
"If there is a lasting legacy from this experience, it should be a new awareness of the danger of dark money in litigation finance. And that’s surely in the spirit of the transparency Gawker was founded to promote," Denton wrote, referring to Thiel's financial backing of Hogan's lawsuit. "As for Peter Thiel himself, he is now for a wider group of people to contemplate."
Thiel has maintained that his involvement in the matter was about checking the media from using its platform to target individuals when there's no public interest involved.
"It's less about revenge and more about specific deterrence," Thiel told CNBC in an interview. "I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest."
Gawker shut down operation after being acquired by Univision, which still operates its sister sites, including Gizmodo, Jezebel, and the sports site Deadspin.