Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer's parent company of attempting to extort and blackmail him with compromising texts the media organization had obtained, according to a blog post Bezos authored on Medium.
The National Enquirer broke the news that Bezos had been carrying on an extramarital relationship with Lauren Sanchez on the same day that Bezos announced that he and his wife MacKenzie were getting a divorce.
Bezos and his representatives have speculated publicly that the Enquirer's publication of the story was politically motivated. Representatives from AMI, the company that owns the Enquirer, emailed Bezos threatening to release explicit text messages between Bezos and Sanchez if he didn't publicly state that there was no political motive behind the Enquirer's actions.
"It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post (which Bezos owns) news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy," Bezos wrote. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets."
Bezos decided that, rather than bowing to AMI's demands to make a "specific false public statement to the press that we 'have no knowledge or basis suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces,'" he would publicize AMI's blackmail attempt.
"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption," Bezos wrote. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out."
Bezos included the emails from AMI in the blog. Here's the text of one, which details the dirt AMI claims to have on Bezos:
From: Howard, Dylan [email@example.com] (Chief Content Officer, AMI)
Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 3:33 PM
To: Martin Singer (litigation counsel for Mr. de Becker)
Subject:. Jeff Bezos & Ms. Lauren Sanchez Photos
CONFIDENTIAL & NOT FOR DISTRIBIUTION
I am leaving the office for the night. I will be available on my cell — 917 XXX-XXXX.
However, in the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer's initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.
In addition to the "below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a 'd*ck pick'" — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include:
· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.
· Ms. Sanchez response — a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene.
· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring. He's wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.
· A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring.
· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.
· A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks.
· A naked selfie in a bathroom — while wearing his wedding ring. Mr. Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel — and the top of his pubic region can be seen.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage.
It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly.