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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has published evidence of American Media Inc.’s (AMI) attempt to blackmail him into halting his investigation into their publication of private text messages he allegedly exchanged with his mistress.
In a blog post published on Thursday night, Bezos revealed that AMI, which owns the National Enquirer, threatened to print a number of revealing, personal photos that depict Bezos and his mistress in various states of undress, unless he agreed to stop his investigation into how the Enquirer obtained his private text messages.
“Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks and corruption,” Bezos wrote, explaining his decision to expose the blackmail attempt. “I prefer to stand up, roll this log over and see what crawls out.”
After Bezos announced his divorce from novelist MacKenzie Bezos in early January, the National Enquirer exposed his extramarital affair with married television host Lauren Sanchez in a report that included the couples’ private text messages.
As he explains in the blog post, which includes threatening emails he received from AMI, Bezos then hired a private investigator to look into how those messages were obtained.
The email, which was sent by AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard and included in Bezos’s blog post, provides a list of the various compromising photographs that AMI threatened to release should Bezos continue his investigation into the Enquirer’s reporting practices.
“In addition to the ‘below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’ — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include: Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting. Ms. Sanchez response — a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene,” the email reads in part. “A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring. He’s wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.”