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Amazon CEO and Washington Submit proprietor Jeff Bezos uncovered a doubtlessly damaging scandal involving nude photos of himself Friday night — a wild story full with worldwide relations, blackmail, hacking, nude photographs and extra.
In a private weblog submit printed on Medium titled, “No thanks, Mr. Pecker,” Bezos claimed that AMI, the writer of tabloid publication The Nationwide Enquirer, had blackmailed him into dropping an investigation into the corporate’s catch-and-kill follow, a method the place a publication agrees to purchase a narrative after which kills it later as a favor to a good friend.
AMI’s David Pecker, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, was beforehand reported to have employed the tactic on a narrative involving former Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal with a view to silence unfavourable information that might have impacted Trump’s presidential marketing campaign, in response to a CNN report. Bezos claimed that if he dropped the story, then AMI wouldn’t publish the images they’d obtained of him and his associate Lauren Sanchez.
“Somewhat than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve determined to publish precisely what they despatched me, regardless of the non-public price and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote. Bezos shared particulars of his e-mail correspondences with Dylan Howard, AMI chief content material officer. In an e-mail, Howard described one of many photographs that the tabloid had in possession as a “beneath the belt selfie — in any other case colloquially referred to as a ‘d*ck choose.’” A photograph of Sanchez that was mentioned to disclose her cleavage. Bezos, his lawyer, and an investigator had replied that AMI didn’t personal the rights to the images, however the firm claimed that the photographs are newsworthy given Bezos’ function at Amazon.
“After all I don’t need private photographs printed, however I additionally gained’t take part of their well-known follow of blackmail, political favors, political assaults, and corruption,” Bezos defined in his weblog submit. “I want to face up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.”
After The Nationwide Enquirer had printed the small print of Bezos’ affair with Sanchez in January, together with textual content messages shared between the 2, Bezos had employed non-public investigator Gavin de Becker to see if the story amounted to political revenge for The Washington Submit‘s tales about Donald Trump. Bezos alleged that the nude photographs had been used to power him to drop his investigation into AMI and concern an announcement that AMI’s reporting of the affair was not politically motivated. “Within the AMI letters I’m making public, you will notice the exact particulars of their extortionate proposal: They are going to publish the non-public photographs except Gavin de Becker and I make the particular false public assertion to the press that we ‘don’t have any data or foundation for suggesting that AMI’s protection was politically motivated or influenced by political forces,’” Bezos wrote.
“AMI, the proprietor of the Nationwide Enquirer, led by David Pecker, not too long ago entered into an immunity take care of the Division of Justice associated to their function within the so-called “Catch and Kill” course of on behalf of President Trump and his election marketing campaign,” Bezos wrote. “Federal investigators and bonafide media have in fact suspected and proved that Mr. Pecker has used the Enquirer and AMI for political causes. And but AMI retains claiming in any other case,” Bezos added.
“It’s unavoidable that sure highly effective individuals who expertise Washington Submit information protection will wrongly conclude I’m their enemy,” Bezos continued. “President Trump is a kind of folks, apparent by his many tweets. Additionally, The Submit’s important and unrelenting protection of the homicide of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in sure circles.”
Digital Tendencies has reached out to Amazon and AMI for remark, however we’ve not gotten a response from both firm.