Bezos says National Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

Adel Al-Jubeir

He says the Enquirer chief threatened to publish revealing personal photos of Bezos unless he stopped investigating how the tabloid obtained his private exchanges with his mistress. Hours later, the National Enquirer published a story detailing an alleged affair between the billionaire and entertainment personality Lauren Sanchez, publishing pictures and text messages between the couple.

Mr Bezos, 55, hired investigators to find out how the texts were obtained and whether the story was politically motivated.

Bezos declined to do so.

The feud between Bezos and the National Enquirer started last month, when the tabloid first published photos showing Bezos with Sanchez, which were supposedly taken before the Amazon CEO filed for a divorce from his wife.

It's a long, rambling post, but the gist of it is that - possibly thanks to a deep political/media conspiracy - American Media, owners of the National Enquirer, have been threatening Bezos with the publication of his n00dz, which emerged as part of the sexting scandal which destroyed his marriage. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly", Howard allegedly wrote.

Bezos went on to say that, "Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here", Bezos wrote. Bezos on Thursday said he directed de Becker to "prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on", and touted Amazon's business success.

He added, "At an extreme level, this shows how frightening it should be to the citizens of the United States that the National Enquirer reportedly has a safe full of information about the president of the United States". In 2010 the Enquirer began running articles that encouraged the idea of a Trump presidential campaign, according to the Associated Press.

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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.

Mr Bezos notes in his blog post how the publisher confessed to the so-called "catch and kill" deal to bury Karen McDougal's politically embarrassing story. He owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories about Trump, who counts Pecker as a close ally.

A spokesman and an attorney for AMI did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Mr. Bezos's investigators have suggested the Enquirer's coverage of his affair was politically motivated. Bezos made the accusations in a Medium post.

In his blog post, Bezos said that "an AMI leader advised us" that Pecker was "apoplectic" about de Becker's investigation.

Gavin de Becker, whom the Washington Post described as "Bezos' longtime private security consultant", has been conducting an investigation to determine the source of the leaks to the Enquirer. "Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles". (On that point, numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.)"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption".

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