Jeff Bezos Says Tabloid Tried to Blackmail Him Over Dick Pics

Jeff Bezos

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've made a decision to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", Bezos wrote in the post, which was entitled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" and included copies of emails from AMI.

That same day, the National Enquirer touted that it would publish alleged intimate text messages between Mr Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, whom he was said to be dating.

Mr Bezos said the magazine's parent company American Media Inc (AMI) wanted him to drop an investigation into how it obtained his private messages. The e-mails detail explicit photos The Enquirer had obtained of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez but hadn't run, and went on say AMI would not publish the photos if Mr Bezos stopped his investigation and publicly said he did not think the leak had been politically motivated.

Bezos hints that the Enquirer's salacious investigation into his personal life was motivated by politics rather than journalism, as explained by the Washington Post earlier this week.

"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. AMI's claim of newsworthiness is that the photos are necessary to show Amazon shareholders that my business judgment is awful".

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A spokesman for the USA attorney's office in Manhattan did not immediately comment on Bezos' assertion that AMI had committed extortion.

In addition to founding the world's largest e-commerce site, Bezos, is also the owner and benefactor of The Washington Post.

In January, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie had announced that they were getting divorced.

Bezos' letter to the media company was published Thursday on Medium.com. Do you see how much I like writing "Pecker"?

Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez at the Los Angeles Premiere Of Warner Bros.

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In an email dated February 5, 2019, Jon Fine, the deputy general counsel of AMI, defends the Enquirer's reporting on Bezos' impending divorce, including the publication of "private photographs", and criticizes "continuing defamatory activities" by Bezos.

The Washington Post has published many articles critical of the president.

That admission was part of a deal between AMI and federal prosecutors, who agreed to not pursue charges against the company for secretly assisting Mr. Trump's campaign by paying $150,000 to a Playboy model for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with the then-candidate.

Bezos, his newspaper and Amazon are all regular targets of Trump's signature Twitter tirades. I can't tell if Bezos means to insinuate that he might be involved in this matter or not, as he points away from Trump in one spot by claiming that Pecker is reportedly most angry at the interest Bezos's investigators have taken in AMI's relationship with Saudi Arabia.

In one, top Enquirer editor Dylan Howard appears to suggest that the tabloid would publish a series of salacious photos of Bezos and one of Sanchez if AMI's terms weren't met.

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Bezos usually stays out of the public eye, frequently delegating announcements and public Amazon business updates to his executives.

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