Amazon's Jeff Bezos Claims He's Being Extorted by National Enquirer

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Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos said in a shocking Medium post Thursday that he's being extorted and blackmailed by his nemesis the National Enquirer and its parent company, AMI.

In a stunning blog post on Thursday, Mr Bezos posted an email he said had been sent to his intermediaries by AMI's representatives threatening to publish "intimate photos" of Mr Bezos and his lover, former TV host Lauren Sanchez.

Bezos declined to do so.

Jeff Bezos's clash with the National Enquirer, including a fight to prevent compromising photos from being published, is putting the supermarket tabloid and its financial backers back under scrutiny.

"(W) ith The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer's initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering". "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly", Howard allegedly wrote.

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The Amazon boss didn't try to hide the potential for embarrassment, writing "of course I don't want personal photos published" and noting what he called "AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponising journalistic privileges". Bezos, the world's richest person, is the single largest shareholder in Amazon, with 16% of the company's stock.

He added the publication demanded 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".

American Media Inc (AMI), which runs the tabloid paper, claims to have nude images of the billionaire that he sent during the extra-marital affair that contributed to the break-up of his marriage.

AMI, the owner of the National Enquirer, is led by David Pecker. AMI has not commented on the matter.

For dramatic purposes, it can't end any other way except with Bezos producing evidence that Trump himself put the Enquirer up to digging up dirt on him, as revenge for the Washington Post's negative coverage of POTUS.

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Howard and AMI deputy general counsel Jon Fine did not immediately respond to CNN Business' requests for comment.

Pecker was "apoplectic" about the investigation, Bezos wrote, and a few days later his team was approached, both verbally then digitally, with an offer: Make a public statement claiming that AMI's coverage wasn't politically motivated, or the Enquirer would post another round personal photos, this time of an intimate nature, Bezos wrote.

The Justice Department agreed to a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, which requires the company and some top executives, including CEO David Pecker, to co-operate with authorities. "It is unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy", Bezos wrote.

On Thursday, Bezos noted that Pecker is cooperating with federal prosecutors who are investigating "catch-and-kill" payments the Enquirer made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to at least one woman who alleged she had an affair with Trump.

Bezos, one of the wealthiest people on the planet, published what appeared to be emails from attorneys representing American Media, Inc.

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Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code".