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- The National Enquirer’s exposé on Jeff Bezos’ romance with former TV star Lauren Sanchez has set off an extraordinary chain of events.
- Scroll on to find out the main players in the saga of the Amazon CEO’s love life.
Jeff Bezos dropped a bombshell on Thursday night, accusing the National Enquirer of trying to extort him using intimate photos of himself and former TV host Lauren Sanchez.
In January, the Enquirer broke the news of Bezos’ affair with Sanchez, just a day after Bezos and his wife Mackenzie announced they were divorcing. The Enquirer published photos of the couple together as well as leaked texts.
It set off an extraordinary chain of events that has cast a bright light on the personal life of Amazon’s CEO and the richest man in the world, and embroiled the US president, Donald Trump.
Scroll on to find out about the key players in the Jeff Bezos saga.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and world’s richest man
On January 9, Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos announced on Twitter that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage and a trial separation.
On the same day, the National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into an affair between Bezos and former TV host Lauren Sanchez. The Enquirer published its front page splash on Bezos the next day, featuring photographs of Bezos and Sanchez together.
Later, the paper published intimate texts sent from Bezos to Sanchez. According to his blog post, Bezos then mounted an investigation into how the texts leaked, telling his head of security Gavin de Becker to "proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter." Bezos is the richest person in modern history.
On Thursday, Bezos published an extraordinary blog post on Medium, claiming the Enquirer tried to extort him into dropping his investigation by threatening to publish explicit photos of himself and Lauren Sanchez.
He published the written threats he had received from the Enquirer, which included details of the images it has of Bezos, such as him wearing nothing but a white towel.
A former TV anchor and licensed pilot, Sanchez was photographed with Jeff Bezos by the Enquirer. She is currently married but separated from Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell.
According to the emails published in Bezos’ Medium post, the Enquirer threatened to publish photos of Sanchez as well as Bezos. Sanchez has yet to speak out about the story.
David Pecker, CEO of National Enquirer publisher, American Media Inc.
In his Medium post, Jeff Bezos addresses David Pecker directly, entitling it "No thank you, Mr Pecker." Pecker is the chairman and CEO of American Media Inc (AMI), which owns the National Enquirer.
Bezos played up Pecker’s links to US President Donald Trump in his blog post, referring to its role in the "so-called ‘catch and kill’ process." This involved the Enquirer buying the story of playmate Karen McDougal, who had an affair with Trump, in order to keep it under wraps.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Pecker’s association with Trump caused him to hit pause on the Enquirer’s first story about Bezos and Sanchez.
Three people familiar with the matter told The Post that the piece was ready to publish in early autumn 2018, but Pecker wanted to wait until after the midterm elections so as not to draw further attention to his links with Trump.
AMI has consistently denied its reporting on Bezos is politically motivated. "American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise," it told the Post this week.
Bezos said in his blog post that an "AMI leader" told him Pecker was "apoplectic" about Bezos’ investigation.
- Jeff Bezos essentially accused the National Enquirer of having a political motive for exposing his affair, and insinuated a Trump connection
- Jeff Bezos ‘enraged’ the National Enquirer by tweeting about his divorce before the Lauren Sanchez exposé was published
- Lauren Sanchez’s brother says he had nothing to do with leaking Jeff Bezos’ intimate texts
Source: Business Insider