Gawker Sues Hulk Hogan Amid Company’s Bankruptcy Bid

Blog network contends that the legal proceeds against it would hamper reorganization efforts

Last Updated: June 10, 2016 @ 1:31 PM

The legal brawl between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media is entering another round.

On Friday, the same day Gawker Media declared chapter 11 bankruptcy, the media company filed suit against Hogan and others with whom it is battling in court, seeking a legal injunction to stop the actions.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in New York, argues that the legal actions would “significantly interfere with or otherwise impair the Debtor’s efforts to reorganize.”

In March, Hogan was awarded a total of $140 million, after a jury found that Gawker had invaded his privacy by publishing portions of a sex tape featuring the pro wrestling legend. Last month, a judge upheld the ruling and denied Gawker’s request to reduce the damages.

The lawsuit contends that Gawker founder Nick Denton is essential to the company’s reorganization efforts, and that he could be forced into personal bankruptcy by the various actions, which “would be tremendously distracting to Mr. Denton, whose uninterrupted attention to these chapter 11 cases is critical to the Debtor’s reorganization.”

Hogan’s lawyer, however, doesn’t seem persuaded by the argument. In a statement provided to TheWrap on Friday, Hogan’s legal counsel David Houston said, “We have every intention to continue to pursue our judgment against Gawker and to hold them accountable for violating Mr. Bollea’s privacy whether it be in the bankruptcy court or any other court.”

According to Friday’s bankruptcy filing, Gawker Media has estimated assets between just over $50 million and $100 million, and liabilities between just over $100 million and $500 million.

By far, Hogan is Gawker’s biggest creditor, with a $130 million claim against the company. Second is law firm Morrison Cohen LLP, with a claim of just over $115,000.

Also on Friday, Gawker announced that it had reached an acquisition deal with media company Ziff Davis, though it might not necessarily be sold to the publisher if a higher bidder comes along.