Jeff Bezos hit back at the National Enquirer on Thursday alleging that the publication tried to blackmail him by threatening to publish explicit photographs of him, his penis and Lauren Sanchez-Whitesell.
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Bezos wrote the AMI-National Equirer on Medium — “F*ck You!”
I’ve written a post about developments with the National Enquirer and its parent company, AMI. You can find it here: https://t.co/G1ykJAPPwy
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 7, 2019
In short: In January, the Enquirer published an 11-page, yearlong investigation into Bezos’ relationship with Lauren Sanchez-Whitesell, wife of Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell. (Days earlier, Bezos and wife MacKenzie announced on social media that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.) The explosive report contained intimate text messages Bezos had sent Sanchez-Whitesell, and almost immediately questions arose as to how the tabloid could’ve obtained the correspondence.
In his post, Bezos says he launched his own investigation “to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer. As it turns out, there are now several independent investigations looking into this matter.”
Bezos continues: “To lead my investigation, I retained Gavin de Becker. I’ve known Mr. de Becker for twenty years, his expertise in this arena is excellent, and he’s one of the smartest and most capable leaders I know. I asked him to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter.”
Bezos then writes that his team found out that AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker was “apoplectic” about the investigation, and shortly thereafter they were approached with “an offer.”
“They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation. My lawyers argued that AMI has no right to publish photos since any person holds the copyright to their own photos, and since the photos in themselves don’t add anything newsworthy,” he writes.