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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer Owner Of 'extortion & Blackmail'

Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post and founder of Amazon.com Inc, has accused the National Enquirer's owner of trying to blackmail him over lewd pictures.
Bezos said the magazine's parent company American Media Inc or AMI wanted him to drop an investigation into how it obtained his private messages.

Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, said last month they were getting divorced.

Their announcement came just before the National Enquirer carried reports about the tech titan's extramarital affair.

In a blog post on Thursday, Bezos posted an email he said had been sent to his intermediaries by AMI's representatives threatening to publish "intimate photos" of Bezos and his lover, former TV host Lauren Sanchez.

The billionaire said AMI had wanted him to make a "false public statement" that the National Enquirer's coverage of him and his mistress was not politically motivated.

According to emails included by Mr Bezos in his blog, an AMI lawyer proposed on Wednesday that the photos would not be published in return for a public statement "affirming that have no knowledge or basis" to suspect such a motive.

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

Early in the blog post, Mr Bezos mentions AMI's links to President Donald Trump.

Bezos said his ownership of the Washington Post was a "complexifier" for him because he had made enemies of "certain powerful people", including President Donald Trump, who is a friend of AMI's boss David Pecker.

Mr Bezos notes in his blog post how the publisher confessed to the so-called "catch and kill" deal to bury Karen McDougal's politically embarrassing story.
AMI's agreement to co-operate with federal authorities means it will not face criminal charges over the payments, Manhattan prosecutors announced in December.

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