Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of blackmail, publishes apparent emails as evidence

Jeff Bexos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Speaks At Air Force Association Air Space & Cyber Conference. , Bloomberg

That same day, the National Enquirer touted it was publishing alleged intimate text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former television anchor whom he was said to be dating.

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.

Bezos, the richest man in the world, accused the outlet's published David Pecker of using the company and the tabloid for political reasons, and said "federal investigators and legitimate media" had proved so.

Once Bezos tweeted a link to the post, it was only a matter of time before the dick pic commentary began.

Taking a page out of Alexander Hamilton's revenge book, he published a lengthy post about the incident and owned up to the nudes he sent, "rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail".

Bezos copy and pasted an email allegedly from Dylan Howard, AMI's COO, days after that initial threat was made, which claims that they have obtained nine lewd photos of Bezos and Sanchez in addition to a "below the belt selfie - otherwise colloquially known as a 'd*ck pick'".

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"If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion", he wrote, "how many people can?" Years before Trump ascended to the White House, Melchiorre threw a financial lifeline to Pecker's company and ended up with about an 80 percent stake. (That's the fig-leaf justification given by the Enquirer's lawyer.) But because the Enquirer's lawyer offered not to publish the photos in exchange for Bezos doing something valuable for them - namely, a statement from Bezos and his companies "that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces" - we may have something actionable here. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out".

AMI recently admitted it had co-ordinated with the Trump presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 (£115,000) in hush money to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Mr Trump.

Howard and AMI deputy general counsel Jon Fine did not immediately respond to CNN Business' requests for comment.

The tabloid magazine released an investigation into Bezos' relationship with Lauren Sanchez (pictured in the gallery alongside Bezos and ex-husband Patrick Whitesell) back in January.

"AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, led by David Pecker, recently entered into an immunity deal with the Department of Justice related to their role in the so-called "Catch and Kill" process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign. It's a shocking and frightening thing Mr. Bezos has revealed". Bezos commissioned de Becker - his longtime security consultant - to investigate how the material fell into the Enquirer's hands.

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".

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