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Bezos accuses tabloid run by Trump ally of ‘blackmail’

The richest guy on earth accused the country’s leading grocery store tabloid writer of “extortion and blackmail” on Thursday, laying out a theory that brought in combination global intrigue, White House politics, nude photos and amorous textual content messages. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of the Washington Post, made his accusations in opposition to American Media Inc (AMI), the company in the back of the National Enquirer, in a lengthy post at the on-line platform Medium.

Last month, the Enquirer revealed an divulge of Bezos’ extramarital affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV host. The headline of Bezos’ post — “No thank you, Mr. Pecker” — centered David Pecker, the pinnacle of the tabloid company. He accused AMI of threatening to publish graphic photos of Bezos if he did not publicly affirm that the Enquirer’s reporting on his affair used to be now not motivated through political concerns. “Well, that were given my consideration,” Bezos wrote. “But now not in the way they likely was hoping.”

The inciting event on this struggle of American titans used to be the January 28 edition of the Enquirer, which hit grocery store racks on January 10, at some point after Bezos and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, introduced that they'd be getting a divorce. The tabloid trustworthy 11 pages to the tale of Bezos’ affair with Sanchez. Tech executives aren't the usual topics of Enquirer covers, and the tale activate hypothesis in Washington and media circles that the tabloid’s aggressive protection of Bezos used to be tied to the closeness of Pecker and the White House. That alliance got here fully to gentle closing 12 months within the criminal drama involving hush payments to women alleging affairs with Trump. Pecker had helped orchestrate “catch and kill” deals involving two ladies who alleged affairs with Trump.

After the Enquirer made his personal existence public, Bezos sprang into action, beginning his own investigation of the tabloid’s motives and the way it had come to own his texts. Leading the investigation used to be Gavin de Becker, Bezos’ longtime safety leader, whom Bezos mentioned he had suggested “to continue with no matter price range he needed to pursue the details on this matter.” It used to be a bold move for any individual who has regularly tried to evade the highlight, even amid the widespread insults hurled his method through Trump, who has labelled the newspaper that Bezos bought in 2013 as “The Amazon Post” and just lately known as him “Jeff Bozo” in a tweet.

AMI made the next step, offering Bezos an offer that it wrongly assumed he could now not refuse. And if he did say no? Enquirer would make him very unhappy, with the selfies and more of the steamy texts it had it sounds as if bought. “Of course I don’t need non-public photos revealed, but I also received’t participate of their wellknown practice of blackmail, political favours, political attacks and corruption,” Bezos wrote. “I wish to get up, roll this log over and notice what crawls out.” Amazon declined to remark. AMI did not respond to a request for remark.

In his post, Bezos also gave the impression to indicate that the tabloid company used to be doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia, quoting from a NYT report closing 12 months: “After Mr. Trump was president, he rewarded Mr. Pecker’s loyalty with a White House dinner to which the media govt brought a visitor with necessary ties to the royals in Saudi Arabia. At the time, Mr. Pecker used to be pursuing industry there whilst also attempting to find financing for acquisitions.” The Post has been reporting on intelligence tests that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the grisly murder of the Saudi dissident — and Post international opinion contributor — Jamal Khashoggi.

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