Jeff Bezos accuses tabloid owner of blackmail over intimate photos

Updated: Feb 09, 2019, 12:52 IST | Agencies

Bezos, the world's richest person, owns The Washington Post, a frequent target of Trump as he assails the US media as "enemy of the people" and a source of fake news

Jeff Bezos accuses tabloid owner of blackmail over intimate photos
Jeff Bezos. Pic/AFP

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has accused the publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, who has been described as a close friend of President Donald Trump, of trying to blackmail him over lurid photos.

Bezos, the world's richest person, owns The Washington Post, a frequent target of Trump as he assails the US media as "enemy of the people" and a source of fake news. The National Enquirer accessed private text messages and last month reported that Bezos had an extramarital affair with Sanchez - a leak that led to his divorce. On Thursday, Bezos said the tabloid's parent company had threatened to publish intimate photographs he sent to his mistress.

In a post on the online platform Medium, Bezos said Enquirer publisher American Media Inc (AMI), led by David Pecker, a friend of Trump, had threatened to publish the photos if he did not halt a probe into the motives behind the leak.

The Enquirer had demanded that 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", Bezos added.

In his post, Bezos pointed to AMI and Pecker's previous cooperation with Trump, including payments made to suppress negative stories, currently under investigation by federal prosecutors. He added: "Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," he wrote. His post, entitled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker", included copies of emails from AMI.

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