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April 25, 2019

Jeff Bezos claims National Enquirer is threatening to publish his nude photos

February 8, 2019
Jeff Bezos claims AMI and the National Enquirer are blackmailing him with explicit photos of him and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez. (Cliff Owen / AP)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims the National Enquirer is blackmailing him.

Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, wrote in a Medium post Thursday that AMI, the owner of the controversial tabloid has promised to release explicit photos of him unless he publicly backs down from an investigation into AMI’s interests in his personal life.

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The supermarket tabloid was the first to reveal Bezos’ affair with former Los Angeles TV anchor Lauren Sanchez amid his divorce from wife McKenzie, including sultry texts between the lovebirds. Since then, Bezos has made it his mission to hunt down the leaker, including hiring a private investigator, Gavin de Becker.

“Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that (National Enquirer publisher David Pecker) is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation,” Bezos wrote on Medium.

“For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.”

A few days later, Bezos claimed, a representative from AMI approached him and threatened to publish more of the text messages and photos “if we didn’t stop our investigation.”

In emails that Bezos published that he says came from AMI Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard, Howard insisted that his company had “obtained” photos including a “below the belt selfie,”a shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring and several revealing photos of Sanchez.

“It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly,” Howard allegedly wrote.

In another email allegedly between AMI’s deputy general counsel and an attorney for de Becker, Bezos’ PI, the publishing company proposed “a public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming 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 argued in his blog post that the emails “cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism.”

AMI was most recently in the news for its immunity deal with the Department of Justice after Pecker admitted to paying $150,000 to a woman, previously identified as former Playboy model Karen McDougal, to buy her silence about an alleged affair with President Trump.

Rather than allow AMI to proceed with its “extortion and blackmail,” Bezos wrote, he instead decided to release the emails “despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”

“Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here,” he wrote. “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?”

Neither Pecker nor a spokesman for AMI returned a request for comment.

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