Bezos Says National Enquirer Tried to Blackmail Him With Intimate Photos


"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". The e-mails detail explicit photos The Enquirer had obtained of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez but hadn't run, and went on say AMI would not publish the photos if Mr Bezos stopped his investigation and publicly said he did not think the leak had been politically motivated. He launched an investigation into how private text messages between him and Lauren were obtained by the magazine and "to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer". "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

Ted Boutrous, a veteran lawyer who briefly represented McDougal in a dispute with the Enquirer, said the emails Bezos described in his post are "a textbook example of blackmail and extortion".

Images of Jessica Sanchez and Jeff Bezos were threatened to be released by AMI, Bezos alleged. The National Enquirer admitted previous year, according to the Southern District of NY police, to facilitating a USD$150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to retain exclusive rights to her story - some say to ensure the details weren't released until after the campaign.

In addition to founding the world's largest e-commerce site, Bezos, is also the owner and benefactor of The Washington Post. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out".

In recent interviews, including with The Daily Beast and The Washington Post, Mr de Becker has said he was investigating whether Ms Sanchez's brother, who has said he supports Mr Trump, may have been behind the leak for political reasons.

The Enquirer was also a major booster of Trump during the presidential campaign.

Several days ago, someone at AMI told Mr. Bezos's team that the company's chief executive David Pecker was "apoplectic" about Mr. Bezos's investigation, Mr. Bezos said.

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"In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal", Mr Bezos wrote.

The alleged emails show the outlet threatening to release a series of texts and photos he sent to his current girlfriend Lauren Sanchez while still married to MacKenzie Bezos. "It is unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy", Bezos wrote.

"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.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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. The company "emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise", Fine wrote in an email to de Becker's lawyer, Martin Singer, which Bezos shared.

Bezos usually stays out of the public eye, frequently delegating announcements and public Amazon business updates to his executives.