Economy

Amazon's Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer publisher of blackmail

Amazon's Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer publisher of blackmail”

Following news of the Amazon CEO's relationship with Lauren Sanchez, and rumors of infidelity, Bezos is speaking out about allegedly being extorted and blackmailed by the National Enquirer and its owner American Media Inc.

Last month, the Enquirer reported on Bezos divorce and published text messages between him and Lauren Sanchez, whom he was said to be dating.

A Washington Post reporter dropped a bombshell Thursday night: that investigators working for Jeff Bezos believe "a government entity" may have obtained his text messages, and rather than a phone hack, that this is how the National Enquirer got them.

Bezos declined to do so. In it, AMI proposed a public acknowledgment from Bezos and de Becker that "they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that (AMI's) coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces".

His blog contained itemised details of 10 pictures in an email from the magazine's editor Dylan Howard, who said they had been "obtained during our newsgathering". "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly". "If in my position I cannot 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.

The story spilled into public on January 9 when Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, revealed they would be divorcing after 25 years of marriage - roughly two days after the Enquirer had informed him it would be publishing a story about his relationship with Sanchez.

Since the tabloid affair, Bezos opened an investigation into the leak led by Gavin de Becker, a public safety expert and former appointee of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

What it comes down to is that Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, has claimed their investigation was "politically motivated". Pecker directed the Enquirer to write favorable stories about Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, while paying $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to suppress her claim of a long-running affair with Trump.

"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.

AMI has not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment.

Pecker is now cooperating with federal investigators who are looking into the company's involvement with the Trump campaign. In the next sentence, Bezos describes the non-prosecution agreement struck in September between AMI and the Justice Department. The deal not to prosecute was conditional on AMI not committing another crime, the office said.

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

In one e-mail that Mr Bezos disclosed, Mr Howard wrote that The Enquirer had obtained photos of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez as part of its "news-gathering".

Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos wrote a scathing letter to American Media Inc.

"It shows how complicated and unsafe it is to make an agreement with National Enquirer", Levenson said.



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