Conspiracy: Hulk Hogan v Gawker
In this fascinating book, Ryan Holiday reveals a meticulously plotted conspiracy against Gawker that would end with a $140 million dollar judgment against Gawker, its bankruptcy, and with Nick Denton, Gawker’s CEO and founder, out of a job.
For years, Thiel had searched endlessly for a solution to what he’d come to call the “Gawker Problem.” When an unmarked envelope delivered an illegally recorded sex tape of Hogan with his best friend’s wife, Gawker had seen the chance for millions of pageviews and to say the things that others were afraid to say. Thiel saw their publication of the tape as the opportunity he was looking for. He would come to pit Hogan against Gawker in a multi-year proxy war through the Florida legal system, while Gawker remained confidently convinced they would prevail as they had over so many other lawsuits – until it was too late.
The verdict would stun the world and so would Peter’s ultimate unmasking as the man who had set it all in motion. Why had he done this? How had no one discovered it? What would this mean–for the First Amendment? For privacy? For culture?
In Holiday’s masterful telling of this nearly unbelievable conspiracy, informed by interviews with all the key players, this case transcends the narrative of how one billionaire took down a media empire and the current state of the free press. It’s a study in power, strategy, and one of the most wildly ambitious–and successful–secret plots in recent memory. Truly a notable trial.