Bezos accuses Enquirer of ‘blackmail’ over intimate photos

Jeff Bezos accuses the National Enquirer of 'extortion and blackmail'

Jeff Bezos pens a blog post suggesting he was blackmailed by National Enquirer

The Enquirer had demanded that he and security consultant Gavin de Becker, who is leading the probe, publically state they had "no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces", Bezosadded.

Mr Bezos said the magazine's parent company American Media Inc (AMI) wanted him to drop an investigation into how it obtained his private messages.

On Friday, AMI said that at the time of Mr Bezos' allegations it was "in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him".

AMI was "unnerved" when Bezos' investigation into the story touched on the publishing company's Saudi connections, he claimed. It says it'll take "whatever appropriate action is necessary". David Pecker, the CEO of AMI, is an old friend of the president, who has frequently criticized Bezos and his Washington Post newspaper.

Mr Bezos and his wife announced last month that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.

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"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.

Mr Bezos notes in his blog post how the publisher confessed to the so-called "catch and kill" deal to bury Karen McDougal's politically embarrassing story. In September, though, AMI reached an agreement with federal authorities that spared it from prosecution for campaign-finance violations.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I´ve made a decision to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", Bezos wrote.

Ronan Farrow, one of the reporters who covered the Trump-Enquirer alliance, tweeted on Thursday that he and "at least one other prominent journalist" had been on the receiving end of American Media's "blackmail efforts". Prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY already picked Pecker's brain and his organization's records for anything they could use in their case against Cohen, which was apparently enough to get him off with a warning.

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But what would have been a private matter escalated exponentially when the National Enquirer chose to publish the lovers' intimate text exchanges.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin and CEO of Amazon, speaks about the future plans of Blue Origin during an address to attendees at Access Intelligence's SATELLITE 2017 conference in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2017.

And so yesterday Bezos simply published the Enquirer's blackmail threat in a post on Medium, complete with its description of the racy pictures.

Several days ago, someone at AMI told Bezos' team that the company's CEO, David Pecker, was "apoplectic" about the investigation, Bezos said.

De Becker is now trying to find a way that federal prosecutors in Manhattan - where the non-prosecution agreement was signed - could investigate the text message scandal, the person familiar with the matter said, though it wasn't immediately clear what, if any, crime the prosecutors would be asked to look into.

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