Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of blackmail and extortion

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

Jeff Bezos with new girlfriend Jessica Sanchez. (Getty Images)

By Harry Cherry  |  Washington Pundit

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer of attempting to blackmail him in a blog post on Thursday.

Bezos, in a website on Medium, posted the text of emails that his attorneys recieved from executives at American Media, Inc., The Enquirer’s parent company. He said that AMI threatened to publish naked photosof him if he did not release a statement saying what they wished — resulting in Bezos accusing AMI of “extortion and blackmail.”

“Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual  —  it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing,” he wrote. “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”

The Enquirer published an exclusive report last month detailing lewd messages between Bezos and Sanchez. After the release of the bombshell, Bezos retained private investigators to probe how exactly the outlet obtained the texts.

“In the AMI letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal,” he said. “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.’”

“If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they’ll publish the photos, and quickly,” he continued. “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.”

He added: “Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here: I will not report embarrassing information about you if you do X for me. And if you don’t do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information.”

“These communications cement AMI’s long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and purpose of true journalism,” he continued. “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. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.”

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