Ronan Farrow Supports Jeff Bezos' AMI, National Enquirer Blackmail Claim
09 February, 2019, 03:29 | Author: Kevin Carter
Amazon CEOJeff Bezos has accused the publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, who has been described as a close friend of President Donald Trump, of trying to blackmail him over lurid photos. The trigger for the statement became clear within days, when the National Enquirer revealed how Mr Bezos, 55, had begun a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a 49-year-old former Fox presenter who was also married, and published a series of their intimate texts.
He maintained that the Enquirer demanded that he and his security consultant Gavin de Becker, who is leading the probe, publicly state they had "no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI´s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces".
Bezos backed up his "extortion" charge with copies of what he said were multiple emails from American Media. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him.
American Media says its board of directors ordered a prompt and thorough investigation. "Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary", it continued.
Bezos and his wife announced last month that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage, following a period of "loving exploration" and trial separation.
"When I see allegations like that, the first question I have is, did they reach out to the DOJ, did they ask for an investigation from any US government entity before they made their public claims", Eddington added. AMI has entered into a non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in NY and is cooperating in the investigation into its payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to suppress a story about her claimed affair with Trump.
In his Medium post, Bezos wrote: "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". Pecker has numerous ties to Donald Trump, even paying off one of the president's mistresses in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.
The charge came as part of a statement he released accusing the Enquirer's publisher of blackmail and extortion.
Law&Crime dug into this at length after the news broke on Thursday evening, exploring what-if any-crime AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, might have committed.
That same day, the National Enquirer advertised it was publishing alleged intimate text messages between Bezos and Sanchez.
A spokesman for the SDNY attorney's office declined to comment on the matter. It certainly would be the least surprising development in this saga, in which Bezos published email correspondence between his lawyers and AMI detailing how AMI threatened to publish nude or semi-nude pictures of Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, unless investigators hired by Bezos stopped looking into connections between AMI and Saudi Arabia.
Bezos retained Gavin de Becker to investigate the revelation of his affair.
In its January 9 story, the Enquirer said reporters followed Bezos and Sanchez "across five states and 40,000 miles" and "tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and "quality time" in hidden love nests".
Bezos' allegations, detailed in a blog post, also highlight a tabloid practice known as "catch-and-kill", in which the gossip sheets use the threat of damaging stories as leverage or to curry favor with a celebrity, Goldberg said.
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