Jeff Bezos publishes National Enquirer extortion emails

Jeff Bezos publishes National Enquirer extortion emails

Jeff Bezos publishes National Enquirer extortion emails

Bezos last month posted a statement on Twitter, signed by him and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, announcing their plans to divorce. That same day, the National Enquirer touted it was publishing alleged intimate text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former television anchor whom he was said to be dating.

On Feb. 5, The Post reported that Bezos and de Becker suspected that the source of the text and photo leaks may have been Sanchez's brother, Michael, a California public relations executive who is close to Pecker and various figures in Trump's orbit, including former campaign advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page.

Bezos, who is also owner of the Washington Post, detailed his interactions with American Media Inc.in an extraordinary blog post Thursday on the Medium.com website.

"In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal", Bezos wrote.

Bezos, the richest man in the world, accused the outlet's published David Pecker of using the company and the tabloid for political reasons, and said "federal investigators and legitimate media" had proved so.

A spokesman for AMI didn't respond to 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. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".


In an email dated February 5, 2019, Jon Fine, the deputy general counsel of AMI, defends the Enquirer's reporting on Bezos' impending divorce, including the publication of "private photographs", and criticizes "continuing defamatory activities" by Bezos.

"Clearly Bezos will have a civil claim against AMI if they chose to bring it, but the question is whether it is criminal", said David Berger, a litigation partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The photos include a "below the belt selfie" of Bezos, photos of him in tight boxer-briefs and wearing only a towel, and several revealing photos of Sanchez, according to the email Bezos released in his blog post. The deal not to prosecute was conditional on AMI not committing another crime, the office said. And of course it's possible that the Enquirer might have sought to destroy Bezos believing that it'd please Trump but without ever being asked to do anything by the president. No specific allegation is made, just a reminder that the Enquirer played a role in the Stormy Daniels saga and that POTUS considers Bezos a political enemy by dint of his ownership of the Post.

"I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer's arrangement with Trump fielded similar "stop digging or we'll ruin you" blackmail efforts from AMI", Farrow tweeted Thursday evening. It also said the photos were newsworthy, given Bezos' prominence.

In one e-mail that Mr Bezos disclosed, Mr Howard wrote that The Enquirer had obtained photos of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez as part of its "news-gathering". "Simply put, this was and is a news story".

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". AMI later approached Mr. Bezos's representatives with an offer.

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