Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on Feb. 7, 2019, that the National Enquirer threated to publish embarrassing photos of him if he did not stop investigating how the magazine obtained photos and private texts between himself and his mistress.
Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, said the National Enquirer tried to blackmail him after he began investigating how the tabloid obtained texts revealing his intimate relationship with a former TV anchor, Lauren Sanchez.
In his post on Medium, Bezos alleged the National Enquirer demanded he reports false statements to the news that he and Gavin de Becker, his security consultant, “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage [of the affair] was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”
Bezos published emails from executives of the National Enquirer to the lawyer representing de Becker. One of the emails was from Dylan Howard, a top editor at the National Enquirer which suggested the publication would publish personal photos of Bezos and Sanchez.
Last month, the National Enquirer published a story that included nine explicit sexual photos between Bezos and Sanchez. Since the publication, Bezos hired private investigators to ascertain how the National Enquirer obtained the texts.
Bezos said that any personal embarrassment the National Enquirer could cause him is not as significant as the extortion. He stated, “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?”
He went on to say that he did not want the photos published, but he would not participate in the National Enquirer’s well-known tactics of blackmail, corruption, political favors, and political attacks. He preferred to stand up and face things head-on.
Written by Barbara Sobel
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
WCVB: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of blackmailing him
The Hollywood Reporter: Jeff Bezos Publishes National Enquirer’s “Extortion” Letter About “Below the Belt Selfies”
The Washington Post: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of ‘extortion’ over intimate photos
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Mathieu Thouvenin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License