Amazon chief and "washington post" owner jeff bezos (54) has accused the tabloid "national enquirer" of extortion with nude photos and other intimate details.
In an open letter dated thursday night (local time), the multibillionaire accused the head of the "enquirer" publisher american media inc. (AMI), david pecker, to be behind blackmail attempt. Pecker is a longtime confidant of u.S. President donald trump. Pecker and his publisher american media (AMI) play central role in hush money affair involving alleged trump affair. AMI announced it would investigate bezo’s allegations.
Background is bezos’ separation from his wife mackenzie and his relationship with another woman. The couple had announced on 9. January announced that they wanted to divorce after 25 years of marriage. The "washington post" reported that shortly before, the "enquirer" had informed bezos that he was going to publish a story about his affair with former TV anchorwoman lauren sanchez. The enquirer made the affair public shortly after bezos announced his divorce and published "sloppy text messages and swarthy love notes" from bezos and sanchez.
Bezos now wrote: "i hired investigators to find out how these text messages were obtained."He was also interested in determining the motives "for the many unusual actions of the "enquirer. Security expert gavin de becker, who is leading the investigation into bezos, briefly told the news site "the daily beast": "strong evidence points to political motives."Bezos now wrote that AMI had threatened him with the publication of nude photos if he and de becker did not publicly deny that such evidence existed.
Bezos now released emails that he said came from AMI and were addressed to de becker’s lawyer. One of these emails suggests a confidential settlement between the two parties. According to the settlement, bezos and de becker are to declare that they have no basis for claiming that the enquirer’s reporting was "politically motivated or influenced by political forces. AMI will therefore refrain from publishing photos and other text messages.
Bezos pointed out that "certain powerful people" reported by his "washington post" came to the wrong conclusion that he was their enemy. "President trump is one of those people.This was "obvious from his many tweets"."The "washington post," bought by bezos, has repeatedly incurred the displeasure of trump with its critical reporting, who persistently accuses the internationally respected newspaper of "fake news. Trump has also repeatedly attacked bezos personally.
The "washington post" reported a few days ago that bezos and de becker suspected lauren sanchez’s brother, michael sanchez, of possibly being the source of the text messages and photos. Michael sanchez is a self-confessed trump supporter and is close to several people in the president’s entourage. The newspaper wrote that michael sanchez rejects any responsibility.
AMI said on friday it had wanted to negotiate "in good faith" with bezos "to resolve all matters with him". In light of the allegations, however, the board has now concluded "that it should investigate the allegations quickly and thoroughly". It continues to be assumed that no laws were broken in the reporting on bezos.
Bezos wrote under the headline "no thanks, mr. Pecker" that instead of capitulating to blackmail, he decided to disclose AMI’s emails – despite the embarrassment this would cause himself. "If i, in my position, cannot defend myself against this kind of blackmail, how many people can??"His investigators had been contacted by several people who had caved in to AMI in similar cases because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake.
Bezos need not fear that: he is the founder and CEO of the u.S. Internet giant amazon and, according to "forbes," currently the richest person in the world. The U.S. Magazine last estimated its private assets at around 136.9 billion dollars (118.8 billion euros).
David pecker and his publishing company are always making headlines – also and especially in connection with donald trump. In the 2016 election campaign, AMI paid ex-playmate karen mcdougal, who claims to have had an affair with trump, 150.000 dollars. The enquirer, however, never published the story but secured the rights to silence it. The method is known in the USA as "catch and kill".
AMI admitted the allegations in december. In return, the public prosecutor’s office assured the publishing house that it would not pursue criminal charges against the publisher. The aim of the payment was thus to suppress mcdougal’s story so that no damaging accusations would be made against then-candidate trump.
The fact that pecker’s publishing house – which until then had stood firmly by trump’s side – was cooperating with the prosecution in exchange for immunity was not good news for the president. Numerous investigations are ongoing in connection with trump’s 2016 election campaign. For example, fbi special investigator robert mueller is examining whether there was collusion between the trump camp and representatives of russia during the election campaign. Trump calls investigation a "witch hunt".
The new democratic majority in the U.S. House of representatives is also increasing the pressure on trump. The new chairman of the house intelligence committee, democrat adam schiff, had announced a "rigorous investigation" on wednesday. One of the issues is whether "foreign actors" have financial or other leverage against trump, his family, his corporation, or people around him. Trump criticized schiff on thursday for wanting to "investigate every aspect of my life, both financially and personally, even though there’s no reason for it.".
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