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Gawker’s Denton Tries Again to Halt $140 Million Court Judgment

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Gawker Media founder Nick Denton, seeking to stave off personal bankruptcy, asked a Florida appeals court to temporarily block wrestler Hulk Hogan from collecting the $140 million jury verdict in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.

In court papers Monday, Denton and former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio, who published video excerpts of Hogan having sex with a friend’s wife, argue that they shouldn’t be forced to pay the judgment until after all their appeals are exhausted.

The jury verdict pushed New York-based Gawker itself into Chapter 11 in Manhattan last month, shielding it from immediately paying the $140 million. The judge in that case refused to extend court protection to the men, who are also liable for the damages award, saying they must file their own bankruptcies.

Denton claimed a temporary “stay of execution” from the judgment under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press. Allowing a verdict to drive a publisher into bankruptcy before all appeals are exhausted would mean “that constitutional right would have little force,” Denton said in court papers.

Hogan, whose court case is being funded by tech mogul Peter Thiel, opposes granting a temporary halt. – READ MORE

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