Bezos accuses 'Enquirer' of blackmail
- Author: Joey Payne Feb 09, 2019,
Feb 09, 2019, 0:16
The dispute, and the extraordinary release of an agreement apparently proposed by AMI, stems from the publication last month by the National Enquirer of a story about Bezos and an extramarital affair with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
"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", Bezos wrote in the post, which included copies of emails from AMI. But the company says it engaged in "good faith negotiations".
American Media continued to say that its company board will thoroughly investigate claims made by Bezos to the contrary, and take whatever resulting action was deemed necessary. I can't tell if Bezos means to insinuate that he might be involved in this matter or not, as he points away from Trump in one spot by claiming that Pecker is reportedly most angry at the interest Bezos's investigators have taken in AMI's relationship with Saudi Arabia.
The four-member board of AMI is composed of chairman/CEO David Pecker; Evan Ratner and Barry Schwartz, both partners at Chatham Asset Management; and David R. Hughes, CFO of Shore Memorial Hospital in New Jersey.
The Enquirer article included text messages between Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez, in which he wrote of his feelings for her and used endearments including "alive girl".
Bezos, 55, hired investigators to find out how the texts were obtained and whether the story was politically motivated.
"If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion", he wrote, "how many people can?"
AMI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chatham said previous year that it had been an investor in AMI since 2010 and had "no involvement in the editorial process or the day-to-day business decisions of the company".
Trump has repeatedly made clear his ire over the coverage of him in The Washington Post, which Bezos owns, the latter noted. "In a tweet, he said Mr.de Becker "spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories" and "'dog whistle' smears".
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO and David Pecker, Chairman and CEO of American Media, the company behind the National Enquirer. Bezos then shared an email from AMI's Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard, detailing what was threatened including a "d*ck pick".
His fellow CNN correspondent Jeffrey Toobin said: 'When you co-operate with the Suthern District of NY they have a blanket rule that you co-operate about everything. AMI helped Trump lawyer Michael Cohen suppress the stories of two of Trump's affairs during the 2016 presidential election campaign by either purchasing one, in one case, or, in the other, helping to arrange a deal for Cohen to purchase them, according to the government's criminal complaint against Cohen to which he pleaded guilty.
The law defines extortion as, among other things, obtaining something of value through fear, and AMI's very explicit threat to publish the embarrassing pictures unless Bezos complies, fits that description, according to Elsea. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer.
AMI was a focus of the federal investigation into campaign finance violations by Mr. Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen. He also wrote that the Enquirer wanted him and his security consultant to make a false statement that neither of them has any knowledge or basis to suggest the coverage by AMI was influenced by any political forces.