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The brother of Lauren Sanchez, the former Los Angeles news anchor who has a romantic relationship with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reportedly leaked the couple's embarrassing texts and photos to the National Enquirer.
Multiple persons inside American Media Inc., the Enquirer's parent company, said Michael Sanchez was the source of the texts, The Daily Beast reported. Another person who has "been in extensive communication" with AMI execs also confirmed that Sanchez had supplied the texts to the Enquirer, the news site reported.
American Media Inc. declined comment to The Daily Beast on the story. Michael Sanchez declined to respond when "asked directly more than a half-dozen times whether or not he supplied the texts," the site said.
Michael Sanchez, who has denied leaking the texts, on Fox News' "MediaBuzz" Sunday criticized the strategy of Gavin de Becker, the security expert Bezos has hired to investigate how the Enquirer got hold of his text messages.
"Everything that Gavin has advised Jeff to do has only amplified the magnitude of the scandal," Sanchez told host Howard Kurtz.
The battle between Bezos and the National Enquirer began after the Enquirer's publication last month of racy text messages shared between the Amazon CEO and Sanchez. That came just days after Bezos posted a note on Twitter that he and MacKenzie Bezos, his wife of 25 years, were divorcing.
In a post published Thursday on Medium, Bezos alleged the Enquirer and AMI threatened to post embarrassing photos if Bezos did not publicly state that the publication's coverage of their relationship was not politically motivated. AMI CEO David Pecker has supported President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Bezos, owner of The Washington Post.
Pecker and AMI reached a non-prosecution agreement in December with him admitting to federal prosecutors he paid an unnamed former Playboy model $150,000 to suppress her story about an alleged affair with Trump during the 2016 campaign.
In his Medium post, Bezos also accused Pecker and AMI of having ties to the Saudi Arabian government, potentially through a pro-Saudi publication released in 2018.
The investigation conducted for Bezos is over and the results will be turned over to law enforcement, de Becker told the Daily Beast Sunday. He would not say who he identified as the source of the leaks.
A spokesperson for de Becker said the investigator was traveling and unable to respond for comment. Amazon and Michael Sanchez had not responded to request for comment.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brother of Lauren Sanchez reportedly is source of Bezos' leaked texts, photos