Media news and gossip site Gawker
has come under fire from Twitter users after publishing a story that outed a rival media organisation's CFO, who allegedly attempted to solicit a gay porn star for '2-3 hours' in a hotel room in Chicago.
The business leader - who is married and has three children - was allegedly put under pressure by the escort, who wanted him to use his influence to help with a housing dispute. The CFO had extended connections to Barack Obama, which the escort - given the pseudonym Ryan in the article, as Gawker
chose to protect his identity - found out after uncovering his identity online.
The story broke late last night and has since sparked a huge backlash from readers and media commentators, who have accused Gawker
of engaging in 'reprehensible' and 'disgraceful' journalism. Others have slammed the site for ruining the CFO's life for 'no good reason':
Even some of Gawker's
staff are distancing themselves from the story.
Not everyone finds issue with the article. A senior writer for popular feminist blog Jezebel - itself owned by Gawker Media - tweeted support for the piece, citing the 'truth' as a defence for publishing it.
has often walked a fine line when it comes to gossip content, and was previously criticised for outing Anderson Cooper in 2009. Responding to the online backlash, Gawker's
Editor-in-Chief had this to say: