Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Amazon's Bezos says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him over 'intimate photos'

Amazon's Bezos says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him over 'intimate photos'

Earlier Thursday, the Amazon CEO alleged that American Media Inc. - the Enquirer's parent company - threatened to publish a nude photo of him if he didn't stop investigating the magazine's exposure of his affair and publicly declare that its reporting hadn't been "politically motivated".

Bezos last month posted a statement on Twitter, signed by him and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, announcing their plans to divorce.

After the tabloid published a story about his extramarital affair last month, Mr. Bezos ordered a team of private investigators to get to the bottom of how the Enquirer obtained risque texts between the executive and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

Bezos says in the AMI letters he is publishing, which follows his own narrative, readers will see "the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we 'have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces'".

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.

Bezos went on to say that, "Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here", Bezos wrote.

A spokesperson and an attorney for AMI did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" he said.

AMI, the company that owns the National Enquirer is now feeling the heat from Justice Department investigations into potential corruption related to AMI CEO David Pecker's close ties with Donald Trump and the Saudi government.

Once Bezos tweeted a link to the post, it was only a matter of time before the dick pic commentary began.

Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Warner Bros.

The National Enquirer previously published an expose on Sanchez' and Bezos' relationship.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the world's richest man, has accused the National Enquirer of attempting to blackmail him by threatening to publish intimate pictures he had sent to his lover.

Pecker is now cooperating with federal investigators who are looking into the company's involvement with the Trump campaign.

So instead of quietly capitulating to avoid embarrassment, Bezos wrote his first-ever Medium post, making public the tabloid's threats and demands.

Pecker is cooperating with federal prosecutors who are investigating so-called catch-and-kill payments the Enquirer made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to at least one woman who alleged she had an affair with Trump.

In addition, he included emails from AMI's deputy general counsel, Jon Fine, detailing a list of terms under which AMI said it would withhold publication of the photos. He also published correspondence between AMI and lawyers for his investigator, Gavin de Becker.

Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code". That's one of the dangers to democracy of what they were engaged in when they were catching and killing information they could have used against Candidate Trump and now President Trump.

· Mr Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.

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