Gawker accuses Quentin Tarantino of PR stunt following "The Hateful Eight" lawsuit over leaked script

Director/producer Quentin Tarantino speaks onstage during the 33rd annual Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame on Dec. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

The website Gawker has issued a response since its parent company was sued by director Quentin Tarantino. The site published links last Thursday to a first-draft script of Tarantino's next movie, a western called "The Hateful Eight."

In a post, the site accused the director of a public relations stunt, saying "Gawker did not 'leak' Quentin Tarantino's script...Quentin Tarantino deliberately turned the leak into a story... Gawker had nothing to do with the appearance of 'The Hateful Eight' script on the internet."



Tarantino is furious that the script for his movie showed up online. He has called it "predatory journalism," accusing Gawker Media of "violating people's right to make a buck."

Tarantino is suing Gawker Media and the unknown leakers for at least $2 million, plus damages.

Since the leak of the script, Tarantino has threatened to abandon the project. Mike Fleming, co-editor in chief of Deadline Hollywood said, "Quentin was pretty upset.  He only had really given the screenplay to about six people, including three actors."

In his lawsuit, Tarantino said Gawker, owner of a popular network of gossip blogs, "...Knowingly and actively acted as a promoter of copyright pirates, and, itself, did directly cause, contribute to, enable and facilitate copyright infringement."

Tarantino's 146-page first draft was already the talk of Hollywood even before Gawker got its hands on it.

Fleming said, "When people get to see his screenplays, it's kind of an event."

But the writer-director was concerned because only a small, select group of people had been entrusted with his script, such as Tim Roth, who starred in the Tarantino classics "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction," Michael Madsen, who appeared in the "Kill Bill" movies, and Bruce Dern, who is up for an Oscar for his role in "Nebraska."

Tarantino suspects an agent for one of the actors may have circulated the script and he says he now may not make "The Hateful Eight" into a movie.