Bezos tells of Enquirer threats to publish revealing pics

08 February, 2019, 12:28 | Author: Erin Carter
  • Jeff Bezos

Amazon's Jeff Bezos dropped a stunning post on Medium Thursday night, accusing the National Enquirer and its parent company AMI of extortion.

AMI was apparently seeking a disavowal of statements in a story the Post published Tuesday exploring whether The National Enquirer's coverage of Bezos' affair - which featured intimate text messages between Bezos and Sanchez - was politically motivated.

Soon after, Bezos initiated an investigation "to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer", he wrote in the Medium post. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.

Jeff Bezos's clash with the National Enquirer, including a fight to prevent compromising photos from being published, is putting the supermarket tabloid and its financial backers back under scrutiny. Howard added, "It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly", Howard allegedly wrote.

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

As part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has "no knowledge or basis" to suggest the tabloid's reporting was politically motivated.

Some of Bezos' text messages were made public last month.

In addition to founding the world's largest e-commerce site, Bezos, is also the owner and benefactor of The Washington Post.

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In December, AMI told prosecutors it coordinated with Trump's presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money. Bezos alleges that Pecker and his crew are threatening to post the nudes because of an investigation by the Washington Post - which Bezos owns - into whether Pecker has been using his tabloids, including the Enquirer, for political ends.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've chose to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", Bezos wrote in an extraordinary blog post he published on Medium, which includes what he says is the text of emails from AMI execs spelling out their demands. Last month, he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, announced plans to divorce.

The Post story quoted de Becker saying the revelation of Bezos' affair with Sanchez, a former television anchor and helicopter pilot, resulted from a "politically motivated" leak.

The Justice Department agreed to a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, which requires the company and some top executives, including CEO David Pecker, to co-operate with authorities.

"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favours, political attacks, and corruption".

Mr Bezos, his newspaper and Amazon are all regular targets of Mr Trump's signature Twitter tirades. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets.

Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said the allegations potentially put prosecutors in an awkward position because of the deal they had already cut with AMI.

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



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