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Lawyer Who Felled 'Gawker' Sues Gizmodo, 'Deadspin'
MediaPost ^ | June 27, 2017 | Erik Sass

Posted on 06/27/2017 5:32:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Less than a year after famed (or infamous) media gossip site Gawker was forced to close by a eight-figure settlement in favor of wrestler Hulk Hogan, the successor to the former Gawker Media empire finds itself in the legal crosshairs.

It's for another lawsuit seeking major damages — and it’s the same lawyer taking aim.

This time, attorney Charles Harder, who has also represented First Lady Melania Trump in her libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail, is handling the lawsuit on behalf of RJ Bell, real name Randall James Busack, the founder and CEO of, a sports handicapping Web site. was the subject of a critical piece published by sports and culture news site Deadspin in June 2016.

Bell is suing Deadspin’s publisher, Gizmodo Media, and journalist Ryan Goldberg for $10 million, alleging the Deadspin story by Goldberg contains untrue and defamatory statements about Pregame’s business model, which damaged the company’s reputation.

Gizmodo Media is the company formed to continue publishing the former properties of Gawker Media after the latter declared bankruptcy. Univision bought Gizmodo Media for $135 million in August 2016.

According to the lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court last week, the Deadspin article, titled “How America’s Favorite Sports Betting Expert Turned A Sucker’s Game Into An Industry,” claimed Pregame was surreptitiously profiting from its customers’ losing bets by receiving what amount to kickbacks from online sports bookies.

Contrary to this claim, Bell’s lawsuit contends that Pregame hasn’t had any business connections to online bookies for almost a decade, well before the article was first published last year. It also claims Deadspin published incorrect data about its handicapping history in support of its false allegations.

Bell claims that he will donate any legal award or settlement money from Goldberg to fund journalism scholarships at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

One key question that remains unanswered. Is Bell’s lawsuit being paid for by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel?

Thiel secretly bankrolled the lawsuit brought by Hogan, real name Terry Gene Bollea, against for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape apparently recorded without his knowledge.

Hogan and Gawker Media eventually settled for $31 million. Thiel later revealed that he had funded Hogan’s lawsuit in retribution for a story published by Gawkersome years before, in 2007, outing Thiel as a gay man. The $140 million judgment awarded to Hogan by a Florida jury forced Gawker Media to declare bankruptcy, shut down flagship, and sell its remaining properties to Univision. However, it’s unclear whether Thiel wishes to continue his vendetta against’s former siblings.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Sports
KEYWORDS: gambling; gawker; gizmodo; lawsuit; libel; media; melania; slander; thiel

1 posted on 06/27/2017 5:32:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He’s a homo but I don’t care, Peter Thiel is a GENIUS and he’s fair.

If he wanted to destroy Gawker, then he had a SUPER huge reason to do so and I’m glad for the outcome.

I hope alll the little pieces of his former nemesis get ground into fine powder and skattered to the four winds.

2 posted on 06/27/2017 5:40:48 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: gaijin

“If he wanted to destroy Gawker, then he had a SUPER huge reason to do so and I’m glad for the outcome.”


One of Gawker’s publications outed Thiel as gay. He was not amused.

3 posted on 06/27/2017 5:44:47 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Wiretapped Office of the Tagline of the United States)
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To: gaijin

This lawyer brought down Gawker? Can he do the same for CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS?

4 posted on 06/27/2017 5:48:14 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Hillary Clinton IS a felon)
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To: peyton randolph

SanFran is FULL of gays who right off the bat sit their Gay Baggage right in the front row of whatever working relationship you find yourself in them with.

Peter Thiel never did that. He wasn’t in the closet, per se, but he NEVER shoved his lifestyle in peoples’ faces, he never marketed himself that way, never sought to “right wrongs”, etc.

He’s exactly the kind of gay guy I had no problem working with when I was in the Bay Area.

This other colossal jerk made a decision for him and wantonly splashed his private matters all over the front page, and for NO reason, basically.

I seriously hope Thiel CONTINUES to put the hurt on this guy, screw him up, cost him money and push his reputation into the deepest mud.

Thiel loves Trump and is a great speaker for Conservativism in Silicon Valley, where Conservatives are an openly hunted species.

He’s very, very brave for that.

5 posted on 06/27/2017 5:49:47 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

CRUSH gawker. DESTROY gawker.

6 posted on 06/27/2017 5:56:09 PM PDT by Captainpaintball (It appears that we no longer wish to keep our Republic, Mr. Franklin...)
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To: gaijin

I hope Deadspin gets crushed. Deadspin is a bunch of pajama boys pretending to be sport journalists.

7 posted on 06/27/2017 6:05:38 PM PDT by Kid Shelleen (Beat your plowshares into swords. Let the weak say I am strong)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Good. I go to gizmodo to see liberals cry.

8 posted on 06/27/2017 9:42:54 PM PDT by zeugma (The Brownshirts have taken over American Universities.)
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