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Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer's David Pecker of Extortion Over Explicit Pics

Thursday Feb 7, 2019
Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos  (Source:Associated Press)

In a bombshell posting, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accused AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, of extorting him over leaked, explicit photos, Business Insider reported today.

"In January 2019, the National Enquirer published an exposé into an affair between the billionaire tech exec and former news anchor and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez, and said that it had seen explicit photos of him," Business Insider wrote.

In an extraordinary blog post on the website Medium, Bezos lashed out at AMI, accusing them of attempting to extort him in exchange of not publishing the explicit photos. What AMI seeks is an end to an independent investigation Bezos launched into how the Enquirer obtained the leaked material with which they based their story.

"Gavin De Becker, Bezos' security boss leading that investigation into the exposé, had previously said that 'strong leads point to political motives,'" Business Insider wrote.

"AMI's owner, David Pecker, is an ally of Trump and has previously engaged buying negative stories about the US president in order to bury them, a process called 'catch and kill,'" reports Business Insider. "As such, there has been some speculation that the National Enquirer story on Bezos is at least partially motivated by the long-running feud between Trump and Bezos, who owns The Washington Post."

In his lengthy post Bezos includes email correspondences from AMI representatives, which include the conditions with which they would not publish the photos.

"In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we 'have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces,'" Bezos wrote.

"If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly," he added. "And there's an associated threat: They'll keep the photos on hand and publish them in the future if we ever deviate from that lie."

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