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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says Nationwide Enquirer writer tried to extort him

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says National Enquirer publisher tried to extort him


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says Nationwide Enquirer writer tried to extort him

Bezos revealed within the put up, revealed on Medium, what he mentioned was the complete textual content of emails his representatives obtained from executives with AMI, the writer of the Nationwide Enquirer.
Bezos, the billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon (AMZN), alleged that AMI threatened to launch compromising pictures of him and revealed what he mentioned had been emails from AMI detailing what he described as “extortion and blackmail.” Bezos, the world’s richest individual, is the only largest shareholder in Amazon, with 16% of the corporate’s inventory.

“One thing uncommon occurred to me yesterday. Truly, for me it wasn’t simply uncommon  —  it was a primary. I used to be made a proposal I could not refuse. Or at the least that is what the highest individuals on the Nationwide Enquirer thought. I am glad they thought that, as a result of it emboldened them to place all of it in writing,” Bezos wrote. “Moderately than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve determined to publish precisely what they despatched me, regardless of the non-public value and embarrassment they threaten.”

Bezos, who titled his put up “No thanks, Mr. Pecker,” shared what he mentioned was an electronic mail from AMI’s chief content material officer Dylan Howard, wherein Howard threatened to launch intimate and private pictures and textual content messages of Bezos and a lady the Nationwide Enquirer mentioned he was having an affair with.

A few of Bezos’ textual content messages had been made public final month. Bezos and his spouse, MacKenzie Bezos, are getting divorced after 25 years of marriage.

Howard and AMI deputy common counsel Jon Fantastic didn’t instantly reply to CNN Enterprise’ requests for remark. Neither did a spokesperson for the Washington Put up. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to remark aside from to verify that Bezos wrote the put up.

Rival investigations

After Bezos made his divorce plans public, the Nationwide Enquirer mentioned it had been investigating Bezos for 4 months, claiming it had proof that Bezos has been “whisking his mistress off to unique locations on his $65 million non-public jet.” The Enquirer and different retailers recognized the girl as Lauren Sanchez, a former anchor for Fox’s native station in Los Angeles.

Gavin de Becker, whom the Washington Put up described as “Bezos’ longtime non-public safety guide,” has been conducting an investigation to find out the supply of the leaks to the Enquirer.

Earlier this week, De Becker advised the Put up that he believed the Enquirer’s reporting about Bezos was sparked by a “politically motivated” leak, and advised the Put up and the Every day Beast that his investigation had checked out Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother, who’s linked to a variety of associates of President Donald Trump. Sanchez, the Put up reported, “firmly denies enjoying any function within the revelation of his sister’s affair.” Michael Sanchez didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from CNN Enterprise.

In his weblog put up, Bezos mentioned “an AMI chief” Howard advised him that Pecker was “apoplectic” about de Becker’s investigation.

AMI threatens Bezos

Bezos included an electronic mail from Howard to de Becker’s lawyer. Within the electronic mail, Howard wrote that he had proof of 10 pictures of Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, together with nude selfies. In his introduction to his descriptions of the pictures, Howard appeared to make reference to an upcoming Put up article that quoted de Becker.

“(W)ith The Washington Put up poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The Nationwide Enquirer’s preliminary report, I wished to explain to you the pictures obtained throughout our newsgathering.”

Then, in an electronic mail to de Becker’s legal professional, AMI Deputy Common Counsel Jon Fantastic referenced Bezos’ investigation and the Put up’s reporting.

“It’s our understanding that your consumer’s representatives, together with the Washington Put up, proceed to pursue and to disseminate these false and spurious allegations in a way that’s injurious to American Media and its executives,” Fantastic mentioned within the electronic mail. “Accordingly, we hereby demand that you simply stop and desist such defamatory conduct instantly. Any additional dissemination of those false, vicious, speculative and unsubstantiated statements is completed at your consumer’s peril.”

Bezos known as the exchanges an “extortionate proposal.”

Pecker has become a public title due to his affiliation with President Donald Trump. Pecker was granted immunity in a federal investigation into former Trump legal professional Michael Cohen. In alternate, Pecker agreed to offer federal prosecutors data on hush cash offers.

Cohen admitted that he made funds to AMI, which in flip paid ladies who declare that they had affairs with Trump. AMI bought the rights to the ladies’s tales however by no means revealed them — a way often known as “catch and kill.”

— CNN Enterprise’ Heather Kelly and Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.

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