One could argue that Gawker actually bankrupted themselves by posting things they didn’t have the legal authority to publish. The plaintiff happens to be wealthy THIS TIME, but it very easily could have been someone of lesser financial means suing for the same reason that caused this “independent journalism” site to go belly up! I don’t care if it is Thiel, Hogan, Bill Gates or John/Jane Doe…videos/writings made for private use are to be kept private unless and until BOTH/ALL PARTIES consent to the publication of that video/document.
The fact is that they published the video for personal gain and character assassination of another person which resulted in unjust enrichment for some, while others suffered great loss (financial, personal and professional). While Thiel might have the means to bring forth this suit…if it were someone who didn’t have the financial means to pay a lawyer up front, I’m sure there are many who would take the case on contingency because the facts of the case are strongly in favor of Gawker being in the wrong. The video was taken in a place where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy and was published without the consent of all parties involved…pretty straightforward facts to me!