UPDATED: 2019/02/08 10AM
Amazon billionaire and world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, is going through what is turning out to be a very public (and potentially record-breaking) divorce and it looks like he has a target on his back.
In a tell-all blog post published by Bezos on Thursday, February 7th, 2019, Bezos alleges that AMI, the publisher for The National Enquirer, attempted to extort him. He alleged that AMI threatened to release compromising photos of him and he even included what he said were emails from AMI detailing “extortion and blackmail.”
In a post on Medium titled No thank you, Mr. Pecker (who is AMI’s chairman and CEO), “Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”
The Enquirer had been previously alleging that Bezos was allegedly going on exotic trips with his mistress. Some of their text messages had been released to the public and no doubt could affect the divorce proceedings. When the Enquirer reported on the affair, Gavin de Becker, who is Bezos’ private security consultant, alleged that the Enquirer’s reporting was “sparked by a politically motivated leak” and connected Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez to the Trump White House. It turns out that Lauren Sanchez’s brother, Michael Sanchez, is connected to a number of associates of the president.
Pecker, the CEO of AMI, is closely associated with Donald Trump and was even granted immunity in a federal investigation into former Trump attorney Michael Cohen so that he would provide prosecutors information on the details of Cohen’s hush money. Cohen admitted that he was paying AMI to “catch and kill” stories from women claiming to have had affairs with Trump.