Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos could have a major legal case against the National Enquirer, a constitutional law professor explained on Friday.
Writing in Politico, Delaware Law School Prof. John Culhane detailed how Bezos, the world's richest man, could sue the supermarket tabloid.
Bezos "should sue the Enquirer and AMI for violating his privacy," Culhane wrote. "He’s got the funds to bury them in litigation -- and he’d probably win."
"If Bezos were to sue and win—or gain a good settlement—the impact could go way beyond the National Enquirer," he explained. "What follows might be nothing less than a renewed appreciation of our right to be left alone—with consequences for everything from stopping so-called 'revenge pornographers' to deterring others who want to make other intimate details of our private lives public."
Culhane said the best legal case would be based on "intrusion upon seclusion." The "publication of private facts" would be his next best legal remedy, he suggested.
Bezos would have an even stronger claim if the Enquirer were to follow through on its reported threat to publish naked photos.
"It’s hard to predict whether, now that Bezos has called its bluff, AMI will carry through on its threat to put the photos out there, he noted. "But if it does, his case for a claim based on the publication of private facts will be even stronger."
"Not everything is newsworthy, and perhaps it will take a plaintiff with unlimited resources to reaffirm that point," Culhane added.
Read the full column.