Nick Denton to Peter Thiel: 'The details of your involvement will be gruesome' if you continue suing us

Denton wants to organize a public debate instead.

In an open letter posted on, founder and CEO Nick Denton has issued an ultimatum to tech billionaire Peter Thiel.

Should Thiel continue to fund lawsuits against Gawker Media, like Hulk Hogan's, Denton warns that Thiel "too will be subject to a dose of transparency" at the hands of the media.

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"However philanthropic your intention, and careful the planning, the details of your involvement will be gruesome," Denton wrote, before challenging Thiel to a public discussion of some sort "under the auspices of the Committee to Protect Journalists*, or in a written discussion on some neutral platform such as Medium."

Nick Denton, founder and CEO of Gawker Media.
Katie Kramer | CNBC
Nick Denton, founder and CEO of Gawker Media.

Denton's letter is a direct response to Thiel's recent New York Times interview in which he proudly took credit for stealth funding various lawsuits against Gawker, with the explicit purpose of bringing down the digital publisher.

"Even were you to succeed in bankrupting Gawker Media, the writers you dislike, and me, just think what it will mean," Denton wrote. "The world is already uncomfortable with the unaccountable power of the billionaire class, the accumulation of wealth in Silicon Valley, and technology's influence over the media."

The Hogan trial ended with a $140 million verdict against Gawker Media in March, and the company's fate will likely be determined by how the appeals process shakes out.

* Thiel has previously made significant contributions to the CPJ.

By Noah Kulwin,

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