The blogger faces the thing she fears most: a photo, in Rupert Murdoch's new Daily. Now it's war
Updated on Wednesday evening:
Finke has surfaced to say that the photo isn't her!
She declined to respond to us, but wrote to Gawker to say:
“What is ‘preventing’ the Daily from publishing the photo in its possession is that, in fact, it is NOT of me. According to what the Daily tells me, it was taken of a woman driving a green Toyota Yaris and I not only have never owned, driven, rented, or borrowed a Toyota Yaris, but also not any Toyota since the 1980s. There are other details about the photo demonstrating it is not of me. Also, Johnson told me the photo was taken at a time when, in fact, I was not driving any car or outside my home. News Corp has not shown the photo to me.”
We are told something slightly different: that Johnson mentioned an identifying feature of the image – a watch Finke was wearing in the photo – and that left her ballistic.
But we could be wrong.
Since last Thursday, the little-seen blogger Nikki Finke has been hunkered down in a war of attrition with News Corporation over the thing that she apparently fears more than anything on earth: a current photograph.
Finke, whose only previously known available photo is a black and white glamour shot taken for an unpublished book, carefully avoids public appearances and is known to rarely leave her apartment.
(TheWrap obtained a photo of Finke when she was a student at Wellesley in the 1970s.)
What she looks like now has become the subject of such curiosity that Gawker once put out a $1,000 reward for a photo of her.
According to TheWrap's insider, Finke was told last Thursday that The Daily was set to publish a photo.
The backstory: reporter Hunter Walker (who, in full disclosure, worked at TheWrap in 2010 for several months) set out to get an image of the elusive blogger.
Walker apparently met Finke's boss, Jay Penske, the CEO of Mail Media Corporation, at the Sundance Film Festival last month and told him of his plan to seek a photo of Finke.
Daily editor Richard Johnson and Walker did not return calls seeking comment.
Finke did not respond to an email or call requesting comment.
Not surprisingly Finke apparently … reacted strongly. Lawyers calls ensued. Publication was suspended until Walker could find two sources to verify the identity of the person in the photograph. The reporter has been scouring the town for two people who can definitively identify her.
So far: no photo.
Read also: Make Your Own Nikki Finke
Finke has battled News Corp. before — and won. She sued the New York Post in the 1990s 2002 when she was a stringer there after the paper disavowed her coverage of Disney. She got an undisclosed settlement from both Disney and News Corp.
Still, the worry over the world seeing her photo seems to have hit the blogger hard. She didn't post at all on Friday and her box office report, a Saturday morning staple, was missing.
Jeff Sneider contributed to this report