Read National Enquirer's response to Jeff Bezos's bombshell Medium post

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail'

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail'

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has released emails he claimed to have received from U.S. tabloid The National Enquirer, in which the publication is shown to be extorting him.

Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Thursday accused the American Media Inc-owned tabloid The National Enquirer of making an "extortionate proposal" to not publish his intimate photos.

On Friday, AMI said that at the time of Mr Bezos' allegations it was "in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him".

American Media continued to say that its company board will thoroughly investigate claims made by Bezos to the contrary, and take whatever resulting action was deemed necessary.

On Thursday, Bezos published several emails that he and his security chief Gavin de Becker received from AMI officials, which he said were created to blackmail him into dropping an investigation he launched into how the National Enquirer got hold of intimate text messages and photos of him and Lauren Sanchez.

The Bezos affair became public when the Enquirer published a January 9 story about his relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor who is also married.

Bezos, however, made a decision to publish the correspondence rather than give in to those demands.

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




"I asked him (de Becker) to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter", Bezos wrote in the post. 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.

And the investigator, Gavin de Becker, looked into whether Pecker's National Inquirer is influence-peddling for Saudi Arabia for some sort of quid pro quo.

"I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer's arrangement with Trump fielded similar "stop digging or we'll ruin you" blackmail efforts from AMI", Farrow tweeted.

Bezos' investigators weren't tied to the Washington Post, but he acknowledged that owning the newspaper is a "complexifier". "I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing", Bezos wrote in a Medium post. When Bezos aired a Super Bowl ad promoting the newspaper on Sunday, one of Trump's sons, Donald Trump Jr., called it an attempt for "undeserved credibility". AMI, the tech billionaire said, threatened to post embarrassing photos of Bezos and his private parts. In exchange, the media group would refrain from publishing other texts and photos featuring Bezos, according to the email released by the Amazon CEO.

Additionally, he believes the National Enquirer will allegedly publish the photos at a later date if they ever turn back on their statements. In the blog, Bezos said that the tabloid had published "intimate text messages from me". "It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy", Bezos wrote in the blog post.

Mr Bezos' own investigator had, he claimed, suggested earlier that there were indeed "strong leads" to suspect political reasons.

Mr Bezos included an email in which, according to Mr Bezos, Mr Fine proposed on Wednesday that the photos would not be published in return for a public statement "affirming that [Mr Bezos and his team] have no knowledge or basis" to suspect such a motive.

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