An American tabloid paid for romantic messages between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his then-secret girlfriend for $200,000 from her brother, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Bezos accused the National Enquirer’s publisher American Media Inc – run by David Pecker, an ally to President Donald Trump – of trying to blackmail him over lurid photos. The magazine denied breaking the law.
In a blog post detailing the alleged blackmail, Bezos suggested links to the Saudi government, with whom Bezos is reportedly feuding over after the state arranged the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who wrote for the newspaper the billionaire owns, The Washington Post. His security adviser told media that they believed a national government may have played a role in obtaining information about his personal life.
The revelations will put to bed the theories surrounding the most talked about technology founder story of 2019. They include suggestions that Donald Trump – a critic of Mr Bezos and a close friend of the National Enquirers’ publisher – was personally responsible for the expose to bizarre claims from Glenn Greenwald – an Intercept journalist – who likened the situation to National Security Agency hacking software.
The so-called world’s richest man unexpectedly announced a divorce from his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, vowing to “continue our shared lives as friends” in early February. A day later the reason for the shock statement became clear, when the National Enquirer revealed he had begun a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a 49-year-old former Fox presenter who was also married, and published a series of their intimate texts.