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Peter Thiel, Revenge and Litigation Finance

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Peter Thiel is a man of many interests. He made billions of dollars as a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook. Lately he’s been spreading the wealth in interesting ways. Thiel gives fellowships to teenagers who drop out of school to start companies; he co-founded the Seasteading Institute, an organization that wants to create cities at sea, out of the reach of any government; he’s a pledged delegate for Donald Trump. And news surfaced this week that he’s bankrolling a legal campaign to destroy Gawker Media. As it turns out, Thiel secretly funded Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker after the site posted a sex tape of Hogan. A jury awarded Hogan $140 million dollars. According to the New York Times, Thiel is also supporting other cases, though he won’t disclose what they are. He’s not the only person to secretly back a lawsuit like this, though. The practice of litigation finance is becoming more common.

Credits

Guest:
Roy Simon - Hofstra University School of Law

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Matt Holzman, Anna Scott, Jolie Myers, Christian Bordal, Laura Swisher, Sarah Sweeney

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