Monday, 22 April, 2019

And the Jeff Bezos dick pic commentary has begun

Jeff Bexos Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Speaks At Air Force Association Air Space & Cyber Conference. , Bloomberg
Russell Knight | 08 February, 2019, 08:08

Jeff Bezos blasted the National Enquirer, and its owner, David Pecker, in a shocking Medium post Thursday for attempting to blackmail the Amazon CEO and founder with a threat to publish his "d*ck pick [sic]" and nine other salacious photos obtained by the Enquirer.

After the tabloid published a story about his extramarital affair last month, Mr. Bezos ordered a team of private investigators to get to the bottom of how the Enquirer obtained risque texts between the executive and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

Since the tabloid affair, Bezos opened an investigation into the leak led by Gavin de Becker, a public safety expert and former appointee of US President Ronald Reagan.

Bezos declined to do so.

Instead, Bezos published emails from Enquirer executives to a lawyer representing de Becker, including one in which top editor Dylan Howard appears to suggest that the Enquirer would publish revealing photos of Bezos and Sanchez.

His blog contained itemised details of 10 pictures in an email from the magazine's editor Dylan Howard, who said they had been "obtained during our newsgathering". "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

Bezos said the statement AMI was proposing was false and described the offer as an "extortionate proposal".

"If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion", he wrote, "how many people can?"

The blog post is the latest twist in a weeks-long saga that has brought the personal life of Bezos, the richest person in the world, into the spotlight.

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Bezos says that the Enquirer is threatening to publish even more embarrassing photos of him if he doesn't put a stop to an investigation now underway by a private investigator hired by Bezos.

In January, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie had announced that they were getting divorced.

American Media Inc (AMI), the owner of the National Enquirer, did not immediately return a request for comment.

In recent interviews, including with The Daily Beast and The Washington Post, Mr de Becker has said he was investigating whether Ms Sanchez's brother, who has said he supports Mr Trump, may have been behind the leak for political reasons. Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal crimes and admitted that he had made a deal, on Trump's behalf, in which the Enquirer helped Trump's presidential bid by paying $150,000 United States to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal to buy and bury her story. AMI has not commented on the matter.

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

It's not clear how the Enquirer acquired the texts between Bezos and Sanchez.

Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, said Bezos' allegations, if accurate, could have serious consequences for both prosecutors and AMI.

David Pecker, the head of National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., is a longtime friend of Trump.

"It shows how complicated and risky it is to make an agreement with National Enquirer", Levenson said.

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