Amazon’s Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of ‘extortion and blackmail’

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail'

In it, he alleges that American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, attempted to extort him into intervening a Washington Post investigation into how the tabloid acquired intimate texts between Bezos and his lover Lauren Sanchez, which they published last month. The investigator, Bezos says, is determining how the tabloid got access to his private text messages with Lauren Sanchez, the woman Bezos had allegedly been seeing.

Bezos declined to do so. The e-mails detail explicit photos The Enquirer had obtained of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez but hadn't run, and went on say AMI would not publish the photos if Mr Bezos stopped his investigation and publicly said he did not think the leak had been politically motivated. "Dylan Howard stands ready to discuss the matter at your convenience", Bezos claims was stated in a letter sent to him from the Enquirer. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

Bezos, who owns more than $120 billion in Amazon stock, continued, "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

AMI didn't demand any money from Mr. Bezos, the world's richest person - only that he call off his investigation and issue a statement saying the coverage wasn't political.

Taking a page out of Alexander Hamilton's revenge book, he published a lengthy post about the incident and owned up to the nudes he sent, "rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail".

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.

More news: President Trump speaks at National Prayer Breakfast

His personal investigators, led by his longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, concluded that Bezos' phone wasn't hacked.

AMI did not immediately return a request for comment.

And in his Medium post, Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, pointed to AMI and David Pecker's previous cooperation with Trump - including payments made to suppress negative stories, now under investigation by federal prosecutors. Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes and admitted that he had made a deal, on Mr. Trump's behalf, in which the Enquirer helped Mr. Trump's presidential bid by paying $150,000 to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to buy and bury her story.

"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 admitted to "catch-and-kill" practices as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, who agreed to not pursue charges against the company. In the next sentence, Bezos describes the non-prosecution agreement struck in September between AMI and the Justice Department.

On Thursday, the 55-year-old penned an essay on Medium with claims about the company's alleged plan to publish what they allegedly referred to as his "d*ck picks", along with other scandalous shots of Bezos and Sanchez. "It's a shocking and frightening thing Mr. Bezos has revealed".

Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code".

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