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Trump ally’s tabloid faces new legal woes after Bezos’ claim

NEW YORK: The National Enquirer's alleged attempt to blackmail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with intimate pictures may get the tabloid's parent corporate and most sensible editors in legal trouble and reopen them to prosecution for paying hush money to a Playboy fashion who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump.

Federal prosecutors are having a look at whether or not the Enquirer's feud with Bezos violated a cooperation and non-prosecution deal that not too long ago spared the gossip sheet from fees in the hush-money case, two people conversant in the subject told said on Friday.

The conflict between the world's richest guy and US' most aggressive tabloid spilled into public view on Thursday when Bezos accused it of threatening to print pictures of him and the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

He said the Enquirer made two demands: Stop investigating how the publication not too long ago acquired non-public messages that Bezos and his female friend had exchanged. And publicly declare that the Enquirer's coverage of Bezos was not politically motivated.

American Media Inc, which owns the Enquirer, said that its board of administrators ordered a prompt and thorough investigation and will take "whatever appropriate action is necessary". Earlier, the company said it "acted lawfully" while reporting the tale and engaged in "good-faith negotiations" with Bezos.

In fresh months, the Trump-friendly tabloid acknowledged secretly aiding Trump's White House marketing campaign by means of paying $150,000 to Playboy centrefold Karen McDougal for the rights to her tale about an alleged affair with Trump. The corporate then buried the tale until after the 2016 election.

Federal prosecutors considered the cost an unlawful corporate contribution to Trump's marketing campaign. In September, although, AMI reached an settlement with federal authorities that spared it from prosecution. It promised in the settlement to not break any regulations. The deal additionally required the continued cooperation of most sensible AMI executives, together with CEO David Pecker and Enquirer editor Dylan Howard. Now, prosecutors in New York are having a look at whether or not AMI violated those phrases, the folks conversant in the subject said.

A contravention of the settlement may lead to criminal fees over the McDougal bills. The Enquirer and most sensible executives could also be matter to state and federal extortion and coercion fees and prosecution below New York City' s revenge porn legislation, passed ultimate yr, which bans even the threat of sharing intimate pictures, legal professionals said. The US legal professional's administrative center in Manhattan declined to remark.

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