Amazon's Bezos says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him over 'intimate photos'

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In a post on blogging platform Medium Thursday, Mr Bezos said Enquirer publisher American Media Inc (AMI), led by David Pecker, approached him with a threat to publish the photos if he did not halt an investigation into the motives behind the leak. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.

AMI's lawyers want Bezos to say publicly that the Enquirer and its parent were not politically motivated when pursuing the story of Bezos's affair.

His blog contained itemised details of 10 pictures in an email from the magazine's editor Dylan Howard, who said they had been "obtained during our newsgathering". "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly", Howard allegedly wrote. 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. "If in my position I cannot stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. In December, the Justice Department announced a nonprosecution agreement with AMI, in which the company admitted to making a $150,000 payment to a woman during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence her "damning allegations" against Trump before the election.

In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bezos says he and his wife, MacKenzie, have made a decision to divorce after 25 years of marriage. The photos include a "below the belt selfie" of Bezos, photos of him in tight boxer-briefs and wearing only a towel, and several revealing photos of Sanchez, according to the emails Bezos released.

Bezos says doing that would constitute lying, which suggests that Bezos's investigation has found something concrete.

As our own dear leader expounded upon at length on his podcast, Bezos is a grown ass man going through a divorce.

As part of the deal, Bezos would have to release a public statement that he has "no knowledge or basis" to suggest the tabloid's reporting was politically motivated.

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The National Enquirer, run by David Pecker, a friend of Mr Trump, has historically been supportive of the US President, and previous year it was implicated in payments made before the election to a woman who claimed she had had an affair with Mr Trump, made in order to silence her.

Howard and AMI deputy general counsel Jon Fine did not immediately respond to CNN Business' requests for comment.

Bezos mentioned this "catch and kill" arrangement for McDougal's story in his Medium post, which he titled, "No thank you, Mr. Pecker". "Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles".

Mr Bezos's wealth now is valued at US$133.9 billion (S$181.6 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", he wrote in a blog post on Medium, the executive published emails they sent proposing a "completely confidential" agreement.

The Enquirer has said that it obtained the texts and photos lawfully, and that it had the right to publish the material under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law.

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