American Media 'fervently' defends Bezos reporting amid blackmail claims

Jeff Bezos

Bezos did not say the tabloid was seeking money - instead, he said, the Enquirer wanted him to make a public statement that its coverage was not politically motivated.

Assuming that is the case, AMI has gone to extraordinarily great lengths to ensure that its publication of explicit text messages between Bezos and his lover Lauren Sanchez does not come across as politically motivated. Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigated the claims.

"The National Enquirer has been doggedly investigating this story for four months and the extraordinary details and evidence uncovered by our team, and presented to Mr. Bezos' representatives for comment early this week, underscores the kind of investigative reporting that the publication has always been known for", a spokesman says. The company then intentionally suppressed the story until after the election.

'They admit to their involvement in the Karen McDougal story which, remember, Michael Cohen pled guilty to a crime in connection with.

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It promised in the agreement not to break any laws. It admitted to "catch-and-kill" practices as part of a deal with federal prosecutors, who agreed not to pursue charges against the company.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office have been provided with information about key exchanges of concern to Bezos, the founder of Inc.

Bezos' investigators weren't tied to the Washington Post, but he acknowledged that owning the newspaper is a "complexifier".

The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, publishes an article headlined "Was tabloid exposé of Bezos affair just juicy gossip or a political hit job?"

The Enquirer has "weaponized journalism and made it into this bartering, brokering thing where it's like, 'If I can blackmail you with the threat - I'll expose this unless you've got something better, '" Goldberg said. And he made the emails public in the blog.

In a blogpost on Thursday, Bezos cited an email from AMI deputy general counsel, Jon Fine, to a lawyer representing de Becker.

Former New York federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers said prosecutors are probably weighing the pros and cons of keeping the cooperation agreement in place.

The story recounted by Bezos - the world´s richest man - touches on political intrigue, sexual indiscretion, the murder of a Saudi journalist and bitter charges of media bias. For years, the National Enquirer's top editor, David Pecker, has had a close relationship with President Trump, who frequently attacks Bezos and The Washington Post, which Bezos owns.

In a Medium post published on Thursday, Bezos disclosed that AMI had tried to blackmail him.

Bezos' personal investigators, led by his longtime security consultant, Gavin de Becker, concluded that Bezos' phone wasn't hacked. The person wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The story reports that de Becker says he believes the Enquirer's reporting about Bezos was sparked by a "politically motivated" leak.

"These communications cement AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponizing journalistic privileges, hiding behind important protections, and ignoring the tenets and goal of true journalism", Bezos wrote in his blog post.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", Bezos wrote, "I've chose to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten".