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Amazon's Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Of Extortion: 'I've Decided To Publish Exactly What They Sent Me'

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Amazon's Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Of Extortion: 'I've Decided To Publish Exactly What They Sent Me'

Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) were trading lower by nearly 2 percent after the open Friday, partly due to a potentially distracting scandal involving CEO Jeff Bezos.

What Happened

The National Enquirer tabloid published an expose on Bezos' divorce with his wife MacKenzie in early January. The publication also claimed it had proof the billionaire Amazon executive has been "whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65-million private jet."

The tabloid, led by publisher and Trump ally David Pecker, is now attempting to blackmail Bezos, the executive wrote in a post on Medium.com on Thursday.

Bezos published an e-mail he said was written by Dylan Howard, chief content officer of AMI, the Enquirer's parent company, to Martin Singer, litigation counsel for Bezos' security chief Gavin de Becker.

According to CNN, de Becker made comments that the National Enquirer's reporting is "politically motivated."

The e-mail stated the publication has among other photos, a "below the belt selfie" and a "naked selfie in a bathroom." A second letter from AMI's Deputy General Counsel Jon Fine was also published by Bezos that details "proposed terms" for the "full and complete mutual release of all claims."

Bezos wrote in his post he believes AMI "will publish the personal photos" unless the executive and de Becker make public comments that they "have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces."

"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," Bezos wrote.

Enquirer Says It Will Investigate 

AMI said it would investigate the allegations made by Bezos, the Washington Post reported Friday

“American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him," the statement to the newspaper said. 

CNN said that Amazon confirmed the Medium post was written by the CEO, but did not comment on the any of the content, CNN said. 

Related Links:

Amazon Posts Big Q4 Earnings Beat, Weak Q1 Sales Guidance

Who Made, Lost The Most Money In 2018

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

Posted-In: CNN Business divorce Jeff Bezos National Enquirer scandal The Washington Post MediumNews Media Best of Benzinga

 

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