Ronan Farrow says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him too

Ronan Farrow says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him too

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has released an open letter in response to an alleged extortion attempt by the National Enquirer and its parent company American Media.

The National Enquirer, published by AMI, put out a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and his reported girlfriend, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

"They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn't stop our investigation", Mr. Bezos wrote in the post. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has accused the owner of the National Enquirer of "extortion and blackmail" in an extraordinary blogpost alleging that the company threatened to publish nude images of him.

A Wednesday email outlining the terms under which AMI sought to extract a statement from Bezos and de Becker was apparently sent by Jon Fine, who joined AMI as deputy general counsel in November. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly", Howard allegedly wrote. Bezos on Thursday said he directed de Becker to "prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on", and touted Amazon's business success. Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes and admitted that he had made a deal, on Trump's behalf, in which the Enquirer helped Trump's presidential bid by paying $150,000 United States to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to buy and bury her story.

A recent Daily Beast report on the investigation Bezos launched said they considered the leak of the original sexts was "politically motivated". That same day, the Post published a story about the leaked texts under the headline, "Was tabloid exposé of Bezos affair just juicy gossip or a political hit job?"

"It is our understanding that your client's representatives, including the Washington Post, continue to pursue and to disseminate these false and spurious allegations in a manner that is injurious to American Media and its executives", Fine said in the email.

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AMI chief David Pecker is a friend of Trump's, and as Bezos notes, Pecker was granted immunity for his cooperation in a federal probe of Trump's payments to women who claim they had an affair with the president prior to his election.

Early in the blog post, Mr Bezos mentions AMI's links to President Donald Trump.

AMI has not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment.

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 National Enquirer, run by David Pecker, a friend of Mr Trump, has historically been supportive of the US President, and past 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.

It does not appear that AMI demanded any money from Bezos - only that he call off his investigation and issue a statement saying the coverage wasn't political.

"But", he continued, "I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favours, political attacks, and corruption". Now that the world knows what the photos show and how they were brought to Bezos's attention, the Enquirer's decision to publish them would look that much sleazier.

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