New York, May 25, 2016–The Committee to Protect Journalists today released the following statement from Executive Director Joel Simon regarding reports that entrepreneur Peter Thiel has been secretly covering the expenses for Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against online news organization Gawker Media:
“Between July 2008 and January 2013, Peter Thiel and Thiel Foundation provided significant financial support to CPJ. As a free expression organization, we have a wide variety of supporters with a wide variety of views.
“Regarding reports that Peter Thiel underwrote civil litigation by Hulk Hogan against Gawker, we note that we support the right of individuals in the United States and around the world to seek civil redress in cases of defamation or invasion of privacy. However, we do not support efforts to abuse the process by seeking to punish or bankrupt particular media outlets.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The final paragraph of the statement has been amended to reflect the nature of the lawsuit against Gawker.