The world’s richest man has accused the owner of a US gossip magazine of trying to blackmail him, he’s said in a statement.
The National Enquirer magazine had obtained private, intimate photos of Bezos and his lover, Lauren Sanchez.
In a blog post posted on Thursday, the National Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc (AMI) approached Bezos for a ‘false public statement’. They wanted the Amazon CEO to come out and say that the coverage of his divorce was not politically motivated. If he didn’t deliver the statement, they would threaten to post the pictures.
Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie announced that they were going to separate last month. Hours later, AMI’s National Enquirer magazine had published private messages of the alleged extramarital affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos’ blog post accuses the publisher of trying to extort him. In the post, he revealed the full list of emails his representatives received from AMI. One of the emails was from AMI’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, in which Howard threatened to release 10 photographs of Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, including nude selfies.
Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing.
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.
In posting the information obtained by the National Enquirer, the Amazon boss didn’t try to hide the potential embarrassment it may cause him.
Bezos continued in his blog post:
I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favours, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.
It’s worth reading this extraordinary personal blog post to get an understanding as to the lengths the AMI have gone to trying to blackmail the world’s richest man.
Unfortunately for the National Enquirer, their website is hosted on Amazon Web Services. Meaning that the National Enquirer website is currently down.
That’s what you get for messing with the CEO of Amazon.