Embattled Gawker Media founder Nick Denton has declared bankruptcy.

The move, which Denton confirmed on Monday via Twitter, will temporarily prevent Hulk Hogan, the professional wrestler whose real name is Terry Bollea, from collecting millions of dollars in damages he was awarded from Denton in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit in May.

Hogan brought the case against Gawker in 2012, after the media site published an excerpt of a Hogan sex tape.

Gawker itself filed for bankruptcy protection in June, halting Hogan's collection of some $140 million in damages. Gawker is now courting at least 15 potential buyers, including Ziff Media, which bid $90 million to purchase the company. 

A Florida judge recently refused to halt the enforcement of Hogan's award, effectively forcing Denton into bankruptcy. In the filing, Denton claims assets of between $10 and $50 million, and liabilities of more than $100 million, including Hogan's claim. Denton is personally responsible for $10 million of the damages, and jointly responsible with Gawker and former editor A.J. Daulerio for $115 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The lawsuit, which was secretly financed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, may be a "personal vendetta" against Gawker, as Denton wrote in a memo to staffers on Monday.

Gawker had outed Peter Thiel as gay back in 2007. Thiel has since confirmed his sexuality, calling the publisher's former Valleywag blog the "Silicon Valley equivalent of al-Qaeda."

Denton continued in the memo: "And yes, it's disturbing to live in a world in which a billionaire can bully journalists because he didn't like the coverage."

Still, he vowed that the publisher would keep going, and nodded to the fact that Gawker hit 104 million viewers in July of this year, compared with 92 million in April before the trial.

"Gawker endures," he wrote.

Published on: Aug 2, 2016