Online news and gossip magazine Gawker on Friday took down a story outing the CFO of Conde Nast after taking heavy criticism.

David Geithner, a married father of three, has denied the allegations.

Gawker reported in its story, titled Conde Nast's CFO tried to pay $2,500 for a night with a gay porn star, that Geithner planned to pay $2,500 to an anonymous gay porn star during a trip to Chicago, but that he canceled the meet-up after the escort attempted to get him to use his political connections to help him resolve a housing dispute.

The escort, referred to as Ryan (not his real name) in the article, told Gawker that he was evicted in 2013 after his landlord discovered he was involved in porn. But Ryan's attorney stated in legal documents that the reason his client was evicted was because Ryan, who suffers from PTSD, had broken the building's rules by owning an emotional assistance dog.

Ryan, whose discrimination claim was declined last year by the Department of Housing and Development (HUD), wanted Geithner, the brother of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to use his political connections to restart his housing claim.

Geithner told Gawker in a text: “I don't know who this individual is. This is a shakedown. I have never had a text exchange with this individual. He clearly has an ulterior motive that has nothing to do with me.”

Reaction to the story on social media was overwhelmingly negative.

“[T]hought we were way past this crap,” Re/Code co-excutive editor Kara Swisher messaged.

“I'm a fan of Gawker & several of its journalists,” out reporter Glenn Greenwald tweeted, “but that article is reprehensible beyond belief. It's deranged to publish that.”

Reader Mike Johnson wrote on Gawker's Facebook page: “This guy is not an antigay politician whose hypocrisy needs to be outed. Why would anyone care if he wants to hire an escort?”

Gawker founder Nick Denton explained in a post why the story came down, saying that he “regretted” its publication.

“The story involved extortion, illegality and reckless behavior, sufficient justification at least in tabloid news terms,” he wrote. “The account was true and well-reported. It concerns a senior business executive at one of the most powerful media companies on the planet.”

Gawker is no longer the insolent blog that began in 2003. It does important and interesting journalism about politicians, celebrities and other major public figures. This story about the former Treasury Secretary’s brother does not rise to the level that our flagship site should be publishing.”

“The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family. Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement,” he added.