Downfall of the $400,000-a-year Gawker editor: AJ Daulerio reveals he was molested as a child, battled cocaine addiction and lost his Soho apartment and life savings when boss Nick Denton ‘threw him under the bus during Hulk Hogan lawsuit’
- AJ Daulerio, 42, worked as Gawker’s editor-in-chief and published Hulk Hogan’s sex tape to the website – causing the lawsuit that ended the company
- In an interview with Esquire, he reveals he’s battled with drug addiction for years, even while working as the leader of Gawker
- Daulerio questions why his boss, Nick Denton, didn’t help him get help for it
- He also claims Denton threw him under the bus during the Hogan trial
Gawker’s former editor-in-chief AJ Daulerio claims that boss Nick Denton both abandoned him and threw him under the bus during the widely publicized legal battle over Hulk Hogan’s sex tape.
In a wide-ranging interview with Esquire, 42-year-old Daulerio also revealed that he was molested as a child by a therapist.
He also opened up about his battle with drug addiction that lasted years, and questioned why Denton did not help him get into rehab during his time working for the media company.
‘If he really cared about me, why didn’t he reach out to me and try to get me help while I worked for him,’ Daulerio told the magazine.
Daulerio, who earned $400,000-a-year in his role at Gawker and lived in a luxury SoHo apartment, claims that Denton ignored his downward spiral with drugs, as he says it was obvious he was struggling with substance abuse.
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Gawker’s former editor-in-chief AJ Daulerio (above in March 2016) claims that boss Nick Denton both abandoned him and threw him under the bus during the widely publicized legal battle over how the site published Hulk Hogan’s sex tape
Daulerio (above) revealed that he was molested as a child by a therapist and battled drug addiction for years while questioning why Denton did not help him pursue rehab during his time working for Gawker
In explaining how bad his drug problem was, Daulerio said that in 2011 while he was working for Gawker’s sister sports website, Deadspin, he was literally covered in cocaine that he had just snorted in a bathroom at a stadium.
Daulerio said that at the time of the incident, he had the opportunity to meet former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, but he passed on it because the cocaine was all over him.
‘When I went to open the bag, I Woody Allened it; the coke went everywhere,’ Daulerio told Esquire, referring to the famous ‘Annie Hall’ scene.
‘I didn’t want anyone to think Joe or Troy was doing blow, so I cleaned it up by snorting as much as I could,’ he added, referring to Aikman and Fox Sports commentator Joe Buck.
‘There had to be coke all over my beard and jacket. Joe asked if I wanted to meet Troy, and I was like, ‘No thanks.’ And I got out of there,’ Daulerio recalled.
After years of battling with addiction, Daulerio sought help several times.
‘I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written ‘Nick Denton’ on a piece of paper and crumpled it up and thrown it away,’ Daulerio said, describing the anger management mechanism he learned.
The legal battle between Hogan and Gawker Media along with Daulerio stemmed from two different arguments over the sex tape.
The media site’s attorneys claimed that the sex tape as protected by the First Amendment because the wrestler was a public figure who had spoke and written about his sex life publicly, as he once called his penis ‘the Loch Ness Monster.’
However, Hogan, whose real name is Terrence Gene Bollea, countered saying that he was not the public figure in the sex tape, but a private citizen whose privacy was invaded by Gawker when they published the tape online.
During the trial for the lawsuit, Hogan’s lawyers played a video deposition taken of Daulerio back in 2013, where an attorney asks him, ‘Can you imagine a situation where a celebrity sex tape would not be newsworthy?’
Daulerio claims that Denton (above) ignored his downward spiral with drugs, as he says it was obvious he was struggling with substance abuse.
‘If they were a child,’ Daulerio replied.
‘Under what age?’ the attorney asks.
‘Four,’ Daulerio replied again.
Daulerio recounted that at that moment in the courtroom, he watched the jury’s reaction to his comment and realized that his career and Gawker Media was over.
In the interview with Esquire, Daulerio claims that he tried to suggest to Denton that he should mention how he was molested as a child to counter what he said during the videotaped deposition.
But Denton allegedly told him not to talk about it while on the stand.
During Hogan’s (above) invasion-of-privacy lawsuit, Daulerio claims that Denton’s legal team did not help to prepare him for the trial
‘Daulerio noted that Denton didn’t express concern for him; the gist of his response was that he didn’t see how sharing that information would help Gawker,’ Esquire reported.
In addition, Daulerio claims that Denton’s legal team did not help him prepare for the trial and essentially threw him under the bus.
In the end, the jury sided with Hogan in the lawsuit, as the former wrestler was first awarded $115million in compensatory damages, $15million in punitive damages against Gawker Media, $10million against Denton, and $100,000 against Daulerio.
The media site and Denton filed for bankruptcy, and ended up settling with Hogan for $31milllion.
But that deal excluded Daulerio, leaving him on the hook to pay Hogan $115.1million.
The former wrestler went after Daulerio’s ‘assets’, and successfully persuaded his bank to freeze his account.
Daulerio, who graduated from La Salle University in 1996, said that he can’t touch the $1,500 in his savings account.
In response to Daulerio’s claims, Denton told the New York Post that he only has ‘good wishes for him.’
‘I am glad that, now the ransom for his freedom has been paid, AJ can move on with life and start a family,’ Denton said.
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