Gawker Media is managing to haunt to billionaire Peter Thiel from beyond its financially devastated grave. A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Gawker’s estate has shown “good cause” for additional discovery in their Netflix-friendly legal saga. That means Thiel’s relationship with the site killing (and very public) Hulk Hogan sex tape trial could be getting a rather extensive look-see.
Forbes reports that the judge’s remarks on Wednesday opened the door for the PayPal co-founder’s books to be open for analysis. According to Bloomberg Law, the judge determined that lawyers for Gawker Media have been permitted to examine the relationship between Thiel and Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) attorney Charles Harder.
The leap into the discovery stage and probing of Thiel and his funding assistance in the landmark trial isn’t going to be immediately set in motion. Forbes notes bankruptcy judge Stuart Bernstein is requiring lawyers for both sides to sort out a focused scope of the inquiry. Gawker has alleged that Peter Thiel’s involvement was motivated strictly by a personal vendetta against the site. (Thiel was outed as gay by Gawker.) Thiel’s legal team said in April that concerns over privacy matters played a part in why their client provided support.
“Mr. Thiel’s funding of the Bollea action was driven by an economic motivation as well as a desire to protect privacy rights,” they wrote in their attempt to prevent attempts to seek discovery.
If what comes next is as messy as the courtroom jousting that came before it, it should make for some fascinating legal drama.