Nick Denton

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Nick Denton
Denton in 2007
Born (1966-08-24) 24 August 1966 (age 50)
Hampstead, London, UK
Residence Manhattan, New York City, US
Education University College School, University College, Oxford
Occupation Internet entrepreneur

Nick Denton (born 24 August 1966)[1] is a British Internet entrepreneur, journalist and blogger, the founder and former proprietor of the blog collective Gawker Media, and the managing editor of the New York-based, until a lawsuit by Hulk Hogan bankrupted the company. For years after starting Gawker Media in 2002, Denton ran the company out of his apartment in SoHo.

Life and career[edit]

Denton grew up in Hampstead, the son of British economist Geoffrey Denton and his wife, Marika (née Marton), a Hungarian Jew who survived the Nazis and escaped the Soviet occupation at age 18. A psychotherapist, she died of cancer the year before her son moved to New York City. Denton has a younger sister, Rebecca.[2][3]

He was educated at University College School and University College, Oxford where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He also became the editor of the university's magazine. He began his career as a journalist with the Financial Times. He co-wrote a book about the collapse of Barings Bank called All That Glitters.[4] He was a co-founder of a social networking site, First Tuesday[5] and co-founded Moreover Technologies[6] with David Galbraith and Angus Bankes, schoolmates from UCS. Denton is the founder of Gawker Media which is now defunct and most of its assets were sold to Univision as a result from losing Bollea v. Gawker which forced Gawker Media into bankruptcy.

Denton was featured in the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 in position #502 with an estimated wealth of £140m (approximately $205m) based on the sale of his previous companies and the then-current value of Gawker Media.[7] Denton lives in New York City.


On 16 January 2014, the New York Post reported, "Gawker Media founder Nick Denton is getting married to his partner of just over a year, actor Derrence Washington, on May 31 at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History".[8][9]


Peter Thiel[edit]

In 2007, Denton's Valleywag editor, Owen Thomas, outed Silicon Valley businessman, Peter Thiel in a post entitled, "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people."[10] In the comment section of Thomas's post, Denton speculated as to why Thiel and he ultimately liked keeping "his personal life a secret from journalists... for so long." He even named "a guy called Matt" as an alleged boyfriend. In response, Thiel called Valleywag the "Silicon Valley Equivalent of Al Qaeda".[11] Thiel called out the sites for "scar[ring] everybody" and for stifling the culture of Silicon Valley, which is "supposed to be about people who are willing to think out loud and be different."[11]

It was later revealed in May 2016 that he had paid $10 million in legal expenses to finance several lawsuits brought by others against Denton and Gawker Media, including a lawsuit by Terry Bollea ("Hulk Hogan").[12] Denton publicly blamed Thiel several times for having planned to take down[13][14][15]

Christine O'Donnell[edit]

On 28 October 2010, Denton published an anonymous kiss-and-tell piece entitled, "I Had a One-Night Stand with Christine O'Donnell". However, according to the writer, O'Donnell only slept naked with the anonymous writer and did not have sex with him.[16] The National Organization for Women condemned the piece as "slut-shaming". NOW's president, Terry O'Neill, stated, "It operates as public sexual harassment. And like all sexual harassment, it targets not only O'Donnell, but all women contemplating stepping into the public sphere."[17] Salon's Justin Elliott criticized the ad hominem nature of the article, tweeting "Today, we are all Christine O'Donnell."[18] reportedly paid in the "low four figures" for the story. Denton defended it, praising its "brilliant packaging." [19]

Hulk Hogan[edit]

Main article: Bollea v. Gawker

On October 4, 2012, Gawker published an extract from a leaked sex tape of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. After Denton refused to comply with a cease-and-desist order from Hogan and a court injunction to remove the video, Hogan sued Gawker for violation of privacy. On March 18, 2016, the jury found in favor of Hogan and awarded him $115 million, which included $55 million in compensatory damages and $60 million for emotional distress. On March 21, the jury awarded Hogan an additional $25 million in punitive damages, including $10 million from Denton personally.[20] Denton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 1, 2016.[21]


  1. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross (November 2003). "New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2007. 
  2. ^ Idov, Michael (26 September 2010). "The Most Powerful People in New York - How Gawker Media Head Nick Denton Made It by Casting Himself As an Outsider". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Jay Rayner (9 March 2008). "The Brit dishing the dirt on America". London, UK: Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Gapper, John; Denton, Nick (1996). All That Glitters: The Fall of Barings. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0241136997. 
  5. ^ "First Tuesday". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  7. ^ McGrath, Ben (18 October 2010). "Nick Denton, Gawker Media, and journalism's future". The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  8. ^ Smith, Stephanie (16 January 2014). "Gawker Media's Nick Denton to marry at Hayden Planetarium". The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  9. ^ O'Shea, Chris (16 January 2014). "Nick Denton to marry in May". Fishbowl NY. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  10. ^ Contact Owen Thomas: Comment (19 December 2007). "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Dan Frommer (18 May 2009). "Peter Thiel Says Valleywag Is 'Silicon Valley Equivalent Of Al Qaeda'". Business Insider. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker By Andrew Ross Sorkin, The New York Times, MAY 25, 2016
  13. ^ How Things Work, Gawker
  14. ^ [1], Gawker
  15. ^ Gawker Founder Nick Denton on Peter Thiel, ‘Conflict and Trollery’ and the Future of Media, Time
  16. ^ Anonymous (28 October 2010). "I Had a One-Night Stand With Christine O'Donnell". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "NOW to Media: Stop Reducing Women Candidates to Sex Objects". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Twitter / elliottjustin: Today, we are all Christine O'Donnell". Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Choire Sicha (28 October 2010). "Gawker Honcho: "Writers are Successful to the Extent That They Can Sublimate Their Egotism"". The Awl. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Gawker hit with additional $25m in damages over Hulk Hogan lawsuit". The Guardian. March 21, 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 
  21. ^ Sterne, Peter (August 1, 2016). "Gawker founder Nick Denton to file for bankruptcy". Politico. Retrieved August 1, 2016. 

External links[edit]