Amazon's Bezos accuses tabloid of blackmail

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Do you see how much I like writing "Pecker"?

Howard and AMI deputy general counsel Jon Fine did not immediately respond to CNN Business' requests for comment.

"Clearly Bezos will have a civil claim against AMI if they chose to bring it, but the question is whether it is criminal", said David Berger, a litigation partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

The National Enquirer published a story last month that included lurid texts between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.

Bezos said the Enquirer wanted him and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, to make a false public statement saying they "have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces". Pictures' "Argo" held at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 4, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

Several days ago, someone at AMI told Mr. Bezos's team that the company's chief executive David Pecker was "apoplectic" about Mr. Bezos's investigation, Mr. Bezos said. AMI later approached Bezos' representatives with an offer.

If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly.

The media group has also been accused of sharing an advance copy of "The New Kingdom", a 97-page magazine lauding Saudi Arabia's crown prince published ahead of a planned media blitz, with the Saudi Embassy in Washington, a move that some say - including Bezos in his Medium post - was to foster goodwill between Mr. Trump and the Saudi kingdom's leaders.

Mr Bezos has portrayed himself as a champion of journalism, but his clash with the Enquirer may put him on some shaky ground.

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In its January 9 story, the Enquirer reported that Mr. Bezos sent "sleazy text messages and gushing love notes" to Ms. Sanchez, months before Mr. Bezos announced he was splitting up with his wife, MacKenzie.

The new information reveals what has consumed the world's richest man since that publication revealed he was having an affair.

The tabloid already published private photos of Bezos with a women the CEO was seeing outside his marriage.

"It's a shocking and frightening thing Mr. Bezos has revealed". He doesn't even speak on the company's quarterly financial earnings call with analysts.

Since the tabloid affair, Bezos opened an investigation into the leak led by Gavin de Becker, a public safety expert and former appointee of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Fine was known to attend events at Seattle's Hugo House and was responsible for doling out Amazon donations to literary arts groups, according to a person familiar with the local scene. "In a tweet, he said Mr.de Becker "spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories" and "'dog whistle' smears".

AMI's relationship with Trump has gotten the company into hot water in the past.

The Enquirer was also a major booster of Trump during the presidential campaign. AMI said it worked "in concert" with the campaign when it bought Karen McDougal's story of an affair with Trump, which it suppressed "to prevent it from influencing the election".

"The condition of that agreement is always - you don't commit any other crimes or the deal is off", he noted. Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. Maybe it started with blackmail involving Trump's exploits and Trump paid the danegeld by cooperating afterward with the Enquirer on exclusives, tipping them off to other celebrity scandals that he heard about, and so forth.

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