Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

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

Jeff Bexos Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Speaks At Air Force Association Air Space & Cyber Conference. , Bloomberg
Ginger Lawrence | 08 February, 2019, 08:09

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said Thursday that he was the target of an extortion attempt by the National Enquirer, which he said threatened to publish embarrassing photos of him if he didn't halt his investigation into how the tabloid obtained private texts and photos between him and his mistress. That prompted Bezos to hire a private investigator, security specialist Gavin de Becker, to determine how the Enquirer obtained the texts.

Bezos declined to do so.

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. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

Bezos said the statement AMI was proposing was false and described the offer as an "extortionate proposal".

Bezos, who owns more than $120 billion in Amazon stock, said in his blog: "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

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.

"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 and his wife, MacKenzie, said last month they were getting divorced.

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His personal investigators, led by his longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, concluded that Bezos' phone wasn't hacked.

[.] 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.

A spokesperson and an attorney for AMI did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

AMI, the company that owns the National Enquirer is now feeling the heat from Justice Department investigations into potential corruption related to AMI CEO David Pecker's close ties with Donald Trump and the Saudi government.

On Jan. 31, de Becker was quoted in the Daily Beast suggesting that the Enquirer's pursuit of Bezos was politically motivated. Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes and admitted that he had made a deal, on Trump's behalf, in which the Enquirer helped Trump's presidential bid by paying $150,000 USA to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to buy and bury her story.

· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.

On Thursday, the 55-year-old penned an essay on Medium with claims about the company's alleged plan to publish what they allegedly referred to as his "d*ck picks", along with other scandalous shots of Bezos and Sanchez.

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". As chairman of American Media Inc., Pecker played a part in making the payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of which prosecutors believe may have violated campaign finance law, according to The New York Times.