Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is hitting back at American Media, the owner of the National Enquirer, accusing reps connected to the tabloid of “extortion and blackmail.”
Bezos laid out the situation in a lengthy post on Medium, revealing a number of email exchanges between Dylan Howard, the chief content officer for AMI, and Martin Singer, the attorney for his lead investigator.
In his Medium post, Bezos 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.”
In the emails Bezos shared, Howard threatens that the Enquirer will publish a series of photos it has of Bezos and his girlfriend, former Los Angeles news personality Lauren Sanchez, including an explicit “below the belt selfie.”
In another email, AMI lawyer Jon Fine said the Enquirer wouldn’t publish the photos, texts and emails if Bezos were to release a statement “affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.” (USA Today)
- The Medium post is titled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker.” That’s the name of the owner of AMI, David Pecker.
- Bezos also notes how Pecker’s so-called “catch and kill” policy utilized to cover up a story about one of Donald Trump‘s alleged affairs.
- He also pointed out that AMI is being investigated for “various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi Government.”