Gawker Media is in the fight of its life with ex-wrestler Hulk Hogan.
The company is facing a $100 million lawsuit filed by Hogan, real name Terry Bollea, for publishing a leaked video that showed the wrestling legend having sex with the ex-wife of wrestler and radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge.
Losing the suit could cost the media gossip site a fortune and potentially force founder Nick Denton to sell the company, according to an article published in Sunday’s New York Times.
Asked if Gawker could afford to lose the lawusit, Denton told The Times, “We don’t keep $100 million in the bank, no.”
In 2012, Gawker posted a 90-second clip of the the video prompting Hogan to take legal action. Gawker was eventually forced to take the footage down, and Hogan is now suing Gawker Media and Denton for violating his privacy.
It’s not the first time Gawker Media has been slapped with a lawsuit. But according to the Times, every other case was either dismissed or settled. This time things seem different. A Florida judge has denied Gawker’s motion to dismiss and the trial is set to start next month in St. Petersburg, near Hogan’s hometown.
Denton also admitted that the popular website is taking a different approach to generating traffic. In the past writers were paid bonuses based on how much traffic they generated. But Denton said the quest for clicks didn’t always produce the best stories and Gawker is changing its strategy.
“A lot of our traffic last year came from stories that we weren’t ultimately proud of,” Denton said.