There are media outlets I dislike more than Gawker – or rather, the former Gawker blogs which now operate as a unit of Univision – but I still delight in their suffering:
The founder of a website that gives betting advice to gamblers is suing the owner of sports website Deadspin for defamation over an article that questioned his honesty and claimed he was profiting at his customers’ expense.
RJ Bell, a Las Vegas oddsmaker who runs Pregame.com, alleges the June 2016 article contains false and libelous statements that have hurt his reputation and cost him business. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in New York state court against Gawker Media’s successor Gizmodo Media Group and the article’s author. Mr. Bell is seeking at least $10 million plus punitive damages.
Mr. Bell is being represented by Charles Harder, the same lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media over the publication of the professional wrestler’s sex tape. Gawker was ultimately forced into bankruptcy following a $140 million judgment against it in the Hogan case.
Mr. Bell, however took to Twitter on Friday to explain why he was suing Deadspin.
“Gamblers want to know that the experts they seek out are giving them honest advice that the experts would stake their own money on,” the lawsuit said. “A claim that an expert is not doing this, and in fact stands to profit when his or her customers lose, strikes at the very heart of this relationship and is absolutely poisonous for anyone in Plaintiffs’ line of work.”
The smear merchants at the former Gawker blogs have not learned anything from the Hogan affair, so hopefully Univision will dump them if they’re forced to pay a large enough settlement.