Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Enquirer threatened to publish revealing pics

That admission was part of a deal between AMI and federal prosecutors, who agreed to not pursue charges against the company for secretly assisting Trump's campaign by paying $150,000 U.S. to a Playboy model for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with the then-candidate.

Bezos, 55, asserted to AMI through his lawyers that the Enquirer has no right to publish the revealing photos, arguing that he and Sanchez hold the copyright to their own images, and that the photos "don't add anything newsworthy".

He added: "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", Mr Bezos wrote in the post, which was entitled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" and included copies of emails from AMI. "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

The media group has also been accused of sharing an advance copy of "The New Kingdom", a 97-page magazine lauding Saudi Arabia's crown prince published ahead of a planned media blitz, with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, a move that some say - including Bezos in his Medium post - was to foster goodwill between Mr. Trump and the Saudi kingdom's leaders.

A lawyer for American Media did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Trump Jeff Bezos tweet

Jeff Bezos, a man previously known more for big balls than for BDE, published a rather incredible post today at Medium dot com.

Reporters for the Enquirer 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", the tabloid said in its story.

"This looks like textbook extortion", said Zachary Elsea, a litigator with Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP in Santa Monica, California. And of course it's possible that the Enquirer might have sought to destroy Bezos believing that it'd please Trump but without ever being asked to do anything by the president.

A lot of them are pretty standard sexting gear, and I pass no judgement on Bezos or his alleged mistress for the majority of the contents revealed. They'd no longer be exclusively an embarrassment to Bezos, they'd be smoking-gun proof of the Enquirer's allegedly extortionate business practices. Hours later, the first Enquirer story on his relationship with Sanchez posted online.

Users on twitter responded sympathetically to the paper's tweets, wishing it good luck. The company then intentionally suppressed the story until after the 2016 election.

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Bezos is Amazon's largest shareholder, with a stake of about 16 percent. On the day he announced the divorce, the company stated that Bezos "remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon". Bezos and company spokespeople haven't addressed whether he will accelerate his periodic sales of Amazon shares.

A spokesman for the SDNY attorney's office declined to comment on the matter.

In addition, he included emails from AMI's deputy general counsel, Jon Fine, detailing a list of terms under which AMI said it would withhold publication of the photos.

He reprints no fewer than three emails that AMI's legal team sent him, one of which describes in detail the personal photos of Bezos they claim they've obtained.

"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. "None of that influences whether people want to shop on Amazon".

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It is a federal crime to threaten to injure someone's reputation in exchange for money or a "thing of value", though federal courts haven't made it directly clear whether a public statement, like the one demanded by AMI, could be considered something of value. Years before Trump ascended to the White House, Melchiorre threw a financial lifeline to Pecker's company and ended up with about an 80 percent stake.

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