Bezos accuses 'Enquirer' of blackmail

08 February, 2019, 11:09 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Jeff Bexos

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has taken aim at a tabloid media organisation he says tried to blackmail him with the threat of publishing "intimate photos".

After the tabloid published a story about his extramarital affair last month, Bezos ordered a team of private investigators to get to the bottom of how the Enquirer obtained risqué texts between the executive and former television anchor Lauren Sanchez. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.

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

A Wednesday email outlining the terms under which AMI sought to extract a statement from Bezos and de Becker was apparently sent by Jon Fine, who joined AMI as deputy general counsel in November. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

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. Like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet, who was forced to do a post about how people are trying to leak his nudes.

Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code". Last April, Farrow published a story in the New Yorker about the Enquirer's "catch and kill" practice - in which stories are buried by paying off sources - that benefited Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Bezos announced January 9 on Twitter that he was divorcing his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie. These photos include, aside from a "below the belt selfie - otherwise colloquially known as a "d*ck pick" - photos of Bezos naked or half-naked while wearing a wedding ring and photos of Sanchez' cleavage as well as " a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene".

The executive also said the Post's coverage of Mr Jamal Khashoggi's murder - a columnist for the newspaper who was killed in Istanbul previous year - "is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles".

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A lawyer for American Media did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. "I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing", Bezos wrote.

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

The National Enquirer, run by David Pecker, a friend of Mr Trump, has historically been supportive of the US President, and past year it was implicated in payments made before the election to a woman who claimed she had had an affair with Mr Trump, made in order to silence her.

In the Medium post, Bezos references Pecker's relationship with Trump.

In a statement to the Post, AMI rejected the suggestion that any external forces influenced its reporting on Bezos, which it has described as its largest investigation, consuming four months and covering 40,000 miles. "Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles".

"It's a shocking and frightening thing Mr. Bezos has revealed".

"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.



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