Forbes reported late Tuesday that Thiel, an early backer of Facebook and a co-founder of PayPal , had played a lead role in financing the litigation.

Thiel, who is also a founder of a hedge fund and a venture capital firm and has been an outspoken voice on issues including education, is no stranger to Gawker.

Thiel kept mum publicly about his sexuality at the time, but has since said he is gay.

A longtime supporter of libertarian causes, Thiel recently said he was backing real estate financier Donald Trump in his bid for president.

If Peter Thiel is indeed backing the lawsuit, I assume that he thinks that disclosing a sex video without the participant s permission is a violation of the participant s rights – here, a right to privacy.

Secretive third-party financings of lawsuits can put media companies at a disadvantage during litigation, said Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, in an interview Tuesday.

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