Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of blackmail

The founder of has released an explosive blog post accusing the National Enquirer's owner American Media Inc (AMI) of blackmailing him with the threat of publishing lewd photos.

Jeff Bezos, who is also the world's richest man, announced in January that he and his wife were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.

The announcement was followed by the National Enquirer saying it had intimate text messages between Mr Bezos and his alleged lover Lauren Sanchez.

On Friday (NZ Time), Mr Bezos said he was also contacted by AMI, which wanted Mr Bezos to drop an investigation into how the National Enquirer obtained his texts and their potential political motives.

The company also allegedly wanted Mr Bezos to release a public statement acknowledging there was no political motive for their coverage of him, or face the publication of intimate photos of Mr Bezos and Ms Sanchez.

AMI is led by David Pecker, a friend of President Donald Trump, who has expressed his dislike of Mr Bezos in multiple tweets.

"My ownership of the Washington Post is a 'complexifier' for me. It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy," said Mr Bevos.

"President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets."

However, in the blog post in which he detailed the allegations, Mr Bezos said he would rather "capitulate to extortion and blackmail".

"I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten."

The blog post included alleged transcripts of emails sent from AMI to Mr Bezos making the threats.

Other journalists have since come out saying they have also received similar threats from the National Enquirer after breaking stories about the publication's connections to Mr Trump.

AMI has not responded to a request for comment from Reuters.


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