Jeff Bezos accuses Enquirer of blackmail with revealing photos

08 February, 2019, 11:10 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Jeff Bexos

In a personal online post, Mr Bezos said that the owners of the Enquirer attempted "extortion and blackmail" to stop his investigation into how private text messages between him and Lauren Sánchez were leaked to the tabloid.

Another email, apparently from AMI chief legal counsel Jon Fine, asks Mr Bezos and Mr de Becker to publicly say that they have no evidence that the Enquirer's story "was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility", in exchange for the media company not publishing further text messages and images.

Since then, private investigators have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.

Instead, Bezos published emails from Enquirer executives to a lawyer representing de Becker, including one in which top editor Dylan Howard appears to suggest that the Enquirer would publish revealing photos of Bezos and Sanchez.

"Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there is a much more important matter involved here", Bezos said.

A security consultant for Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos believes the CEO's lurid intimate photos may have been acquired by a "government entity", a reporter at the paper said Thursday.

He added, "At an extreme level, this shows how frightening it should be to the citizens of the United States that the National Enquirer reportedly has a safe full of information about the president of the United States".

In December, AMI told prosecutors it coordinated with Trump's presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money.

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In its January 9 story, the Enquirer reported that Bezos sent "sleazy text messages and gushing love notes" to Sanchez, months before Bezos announced he was splitting up with his wife, MacKenzie.

A few weeks ago the National Enquirer revealed to the world that Jeff Bezos was having an extramarital affair when it published intimate texts between Bezos and his girlfriend.

"It is our understanding that your client's representatives, including the Washington Post, continue to pursue and to disseminate these false and spurious allegations in a manner that is injurious to American Media and its executives", Fine said in the email.

AMI did not immediately return a request for comment. Bezos has been the target of criticism from President Donald Trump over the Post's critical coverage of the White House, and American Media admitted it engaged in what's known as "catch-and-kill" practices to help Trump become president. Bezos made the accusations in a Medium post.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", he wrote in a blog post on Medium, the executive published emails they sent proposing a "completely confidential" agreement.

Bezos wrote Thursday that his ownership of The Washington Post "is a complexifier for me". He also pointed to owning The Post and their coverage of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as potential reasons people could be targeting him.

If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly.

Mr Bezos's wealth now is valued at US$133.9 billion (S$181.6 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


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