Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Bezos Alleges National Enquirer Owner Of ‘Extortion And Blackmail’

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail' Jeff Bezos pens a blog post suggesting he was blackmailed by National Enquirer
Nellie Chapman | 08 February, 2019, 08:08

In its January 9 story, the Enquirer reported that Mr. Bezos sent "sleazy text messages and gushing love notes" to Ms. Sanchez, months before Mr. Bezos announced he was splitting up with his wife, MacKenzie.

It comes after the tabloid last month reported Bezos was in a relationship with former news anchor and entertainment reporter Lauren Sanchez - having accessed private text messages.

De Becker is now trying to find a way that federal prosecutors in Manhattan - where the non-prosecution agreement was signed - could investigate the text message scandal, the person familiar with the matter said, though it wasn't immediately clear what, if any, crime the prosecutors would be asked to look into.

De Becker called the leak "politically motivated", and said that the main target of his inquiry was Sanchez's brother, Michael Sanchez.

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

According to the e-mails, an attorney for AMI offered a formal deal Wednesday: The tabloid wouldn't post the photos if Mr. Bezos and his investigators would release a public statement "affirming that they have no knowledge or basis" to suggest the Enquirer's coverage was "politically motivated or influenced by political forces".

AMI did not immediately return a request for comment. "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" he said. AMI has not commented on the matter.

Bezos also raised the publisher's links to Saudi Arabia - whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is accused of directing the murder of Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Bezos said in his Medium post that the tabloid threatened to keep the photos and publish them in the future "if we ever deviate from (the) lie" that politics played no role in the Enquirer's pursuit of Bezos' relationship with Lauren Sanchez.

[.] Because of both [their] friendship and the money that Pecker saw could be made from promoting the Republican presidential candidate, Pecker used the "National Enquirer" as a forum for promoting Trump's campaign.

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

In an extraordinarily personal online post, Mr Bezos said intermediaries of Mr David Pecker, chairman of American Media Inc (AMI), the owner of The Enquirer, had approached him to stop his investigation.

"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", Mr Bezos wrote of AMI, explaining why he had chose to speak out.

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. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Here is an excerpt of one e-mail from American Media Inc chief content officer Dylan Howard to Martin Singer, the lawyer of Bezos' longtime private security consultant Gavin de Becker.

But the company has admitted in the past that it engaged in what's known as "catch-and-kill" practices to help Trump become president. Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought.