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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Publisher of Blackmail

08 February, 2019, 08:47 | Author: Sara Gill
  • Bezos claims extortion blackmail from National Enquirer

Mr. Bezos said he chose to publish the emails sent to his team "rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", despite the "personal cost and embarrassment they threaten".

This comes after the National Enquirer published erotic text messages sent between him and his mistress Lauren Sanchez last month. Since then, private investigators for the billionaire have been looking into how the Enquirer got the texts.

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".

Bezos hints that the Enquirer's salacious investigation into his personal life was motivated by politics rather than journalism, as explained by the Washington Post earlier this week.

"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favours, political attacks and corruption", Bezos wrote.

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has released emails he claimed to have received from USA tabloid The National Enquirer, in which the publication is shown to be extorting him.

AMI did not immediately return a request for comment. However, AMI's relationship with Donald Trump is in the national interest, and as Bezos points out in his post, AMI "recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called "Catch and Kill" process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign".


Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, are getting divorced after 25 years of marriage. Now that the world knows what the photos show and how they were brought to Bezos's attention, the Enquirer's decision to publish them would look that much sleazier.

The law defines extortion as, among other things, obtaining something of value through fear, and AMI's very explicit threat to publish the embarrassing pictures unless Bezos complies, fits that description, according to Elsea. Years before Trump ascended to the White House, Melchiorre threw a financial lifeline to Pecker's company and ended up with about an 80 percent stake.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Former TV host Lauren Sanchez is reported to be in a relationship with Mr Bezos Why does he mention President Trump?

Mr de Becker proceeded to tell the media that the leak was politically motivated, which, according to Mr Bezos's blog post on Thursday, concerned AMI.

Trump and Bezos, meanwhile, are longtime foes. Mr Trump has previously linked The Post and Amazon in critical Twitter posts, once declaring the "Fake Washington Post" a "lobbyist" for Amazon.

Mr. Bezos wrote that this week, the tabloid's editor, Dylan Howard, e-mailed an attorney for Mr. Bezos's long-time security consultant to describe photos the Enquirer "obtained during our newsgathering".

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

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