February 17, 2019

Ronan Farrow says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him too

08 February 2019, 08:43 | Joann Bryant

Images of Jessica Sanchez and Jeff Bezos were threatened to be released by AMI Bezos alleged

Images of Jessica Sanchez and Jeff Bezos were threatened to be released by AMI Bezos alleged

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

Mr Bezos' online post details a stunning and weird clash between the world's richest man and the nation's biggest tabloid publisher.

In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bezos says he and his wife, MacKenzie, have chose to divorce after 25 years of marriage.

It comes after the tabloid last month reported Bezos was in a relationship with former news anchor and entertainment reporter Lauren Sanchez - having accessed private text messages.

After the story ran, Mr. Bezos ordered his long-time security consultant, Gavin de Becker, to lead the probe into how the Enquirer obtained the lewd text messages.

Mr Bezos said his ownership of the Washington Post was a "complexifier" for him because he had made enemies of "certain powerful people", including President Donald Trump, who is a friend of AMI's boss David Pecker.

"In the AMI letters I'm making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal", Bezos wrote.

In one of those emails, Fine proposed Bezos release a mutually agreed upon statement to a news outlet saying that he had no basis for suggesting AMI's coverage was politically motivated.

AMI has not commented on the matter. "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" he said.

Several days ago, someone at AMI told Mr. Bezos's team that the company's chief executive David Pecker was "apoplectic" about Mr. Bezos's investigation, Mr. Bezos said.

His blog contained itemised details of 10 pictures in an email from the magazine's editor Dylan Howard, who said they had been "obtained during our newsgathering".

Ted Boutrous, a veteran lawyer who briefly represented McDougal in a dispute with the Enquirer, said the emails Bezos described in his post are "a textbook example of blackmail and extortion".

In addition to the "below the belt selfie - otherwise colloquially known as a "d*** pick" - The Enquirer obtained a further nine images.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", wrote Mr Bezos, "I've chose to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten".

· Ms. Sanchez response - a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene. His private investigators have concluded that Mr. Bezos's phone wasn't hacked. He's wearing either tight black cargo trousers or shorts.

· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.

· A naked selfie in a bathroom - while wearing his wedding ring. "And if you don't do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information".

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.

[.] Because of both [their] friendship and the money that Pecker saw could be made from promoting the Republican presidential candidate, Pecker used the "National Enquirer" as a forum for promoting Trump's campaign. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out".

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