Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

Bezos, who is also owner of The Washington Post, detailed his interactions with American Media a blog post on Thursday on the website.

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos accused National Enquirer's parent company of trying to blackmail him with lewd photos of him and his mistress Thursday evening.

Bezos is Amazon's largest shareholder, with a stake of about 16 percent. Actually, for me it wasn't just unusual - it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn't refuse.

Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code". I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing.

The Bezos affair became public when the Enquirer published a January 9 story about his relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor who is also married.

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

A lawyer for American Media did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Neither did a spokesperson for the Washington Post.

Bezos declined to do so.

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After the story ran, Bezos ordered his longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, to lead the probe into how the Enquirer obtained the lewd text messages.

According to the letters, in exchange for not publishing these photos, AMI's Deputy General Counsel, Jon Fine, wanted Bezos and his team to acknowledge that "they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility". Sanchez, the Post reported, "firmly denies playing any role in the revelation of his sister's affair". The White House also didn't respond to 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. He posted an email from Dylan Howard, the chief content officer at AMI, which outlined in detail the photographs they allegedly have in their possession. In his introduction to his descriptions of the photos, Howard appeared to make reference to an upcoming Post article that quoted de Becker. You can read the whole thing here.

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.

In response to Farrow, former Associated Press editor Ted Bridis tweeted, "We were warned explicitly by insiders that AMI had hired private investigators to dig into backgrounds of @AP journalists looking into the tabloid's efforts on behalf of Trump". "Any further dissemination of these false, vicious, speculative and unsubstantiated statements is done at your client's peril".

The twists and intrigue of the Bezos-AMI dispute don't stop. Bezos pointed out Pecker's ties to President Donald Trump in the statement.

Mr Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen - who facilitated the hush money at the direction, he says, of Mr Trump - has already admitted violating campaign finance laws. It admitted to "catch-and-kill" practices as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, who agreed to not pursue charges against the company.

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