Gawker media has filed for bankruptcy after losing a multi-million dollar privacy lawsuit brought against them by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Hogan was awarded a total of $140m in damages from the company after arguing one of its websites had violated his privacy by publishing an edited sex tape which featured him and his friend's wife.

The tape, posted online in 2012, showed Hogan having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, the radio shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

In March, a six-person jury awarded $60 million to Hogan, for emotional distress and $55 million for economic damages. The jury then added another $25 million in punitive damages.

Gawker, have vowed to appeal the verdict, but announced it was putting itself up for sale on Friday as it initiated bankruptcy proceedings.

The company's Chief Executive stated online after the announcement that "our sites will thrive - under new ownership - and we'll win in court."

Along with its flagship Gawker site, Gawker Media also publishes consumer websites Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Deadspin and Jezebel.