Rumors had been swirling that a prominent Silicon Valley VC is funding a high profile lawsuit by Hulk Hogan against the online news site Gawker.On Monday, even Gawker's founder Nick Denton, in an interview with The New York Times, seemed to buy into what was once considered a far-fetched conspiracy theory.And on Tuesday, a new report from Forbes by Ryan Mac and Matt Drange said that venture capitalist Peter Thiel was the behind-the-scenes benefactor helping to finance the case.The Forbes report only cited anonymous sources "familiar with the situation."

Request for comment from multiple Thiel-associated entities went unreturned.Hogan, a professional wrestler whose real name is Terry Gene Bollea, sued Gawker for publishing a video clip in 2013 of him having sex.

That claim would apparently have required Gawker's insurance to pay for its defense and its potential payouts.Dropping the claim meant Gawker would have to pay out of its own pocket, but it also would have potentially resulted in a lower payday for Hogan.A separate report in The New York Times late Tuesday, citing a "person briefed on the arrangement," said that Thiel helped fund the expenses of Hogan's legal team.What links Hogan to Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal, is unknown, beyond a shared hatred toward the gossip-heavy site.Thiel once compared the site to al-Qaeda.

That prompted Thiel to compare Gawker to a terrorist organization during a 2009 interview.

"I think they should be described as terrorists, not as writers or reporters.

I don t understand the psychology of people who would kill themselves and blow up buildings, and I don t understand people who would spend their lives being angry; it just seems unhealthy," Thiel said at the time.You can read the full Forbes report hereNOW WATCH: Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel explains precisely how Mark Zuckerberg changed the worldLoading video...

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