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Gawker settles Hulk Hogan privacy lawsuit for $31 million

The four-year battle between Gawker and the former pro wrestler has ended.

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Nick Denton sold Gawker to Univision for $135 million.

Pool, Getty Images

Gawker founder Nick Denton said in a Medium post published Wednesday that he and his now defunct celebrity gossip publication have settled the privacy lawsuit they lost to the wrestler Hulk Hogan.

"After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached," Denton wrote in a post titled "A Hard Peace." "The saga is over."

To settle the lawsuit, Gawker agreed to pay $31 million to Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, according to a filing Wednesday in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Denton said it made sense to settle considering the amount of money Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who financed the lawsuit against Gawker, could afford. "Life is short, for most of us," wrote Denton.

Hogan's lawyer, David Houston, said in a statement that "all parties have agreed it is time to move on."

Gawker Media's assets were sold at auction to Univision back in August after the media company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Gawker filed for bankruptcy protection after a Florida jury awarded $140 million to Bollea after the former professional wrestler sued Gawker, claiming the site violated his privacy in 2012 when it published a sex tape involving him and the now-estranged wife of a friend.

Denton finished on a warning note:

"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. As for Peter Thiel himself, he is now for a wider group of people to contemplate."

We've confirmed the post is legitimate via Gawker's PR.

First published November 2, 9:36 a.m. PT.
Update 11:12 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Bollea's lawyer and at 3:30 p.m. to include settlement amount.