On Thursday, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, published a post on Medium claiming that he’s being extorted by American Media Inc., the umbrella company that contains the National Enquirer. Bezos claimed the tabloid was threatening to release partially nude photos reportedly sent between Bezos and his girlfriend.
The post was titled, “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” a reference to AMI’s CEO David Pecker. Bezos claimed that the National Enquirer had previously revealed details about his relationship and that they threatened to publish pictures. He suggested the threat was politically motivated and linked to the Washington Post’s coverage of figures linked to Donald Trump’s administration.
“Something unusual happened to me yesterday. Actually, for me it wasn’t just unusual — it was a first. I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Or at least that’s what the top people at the National Enquirer thought. I’m glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing,” Bezos wrote. “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”
Bezos said that the Washington Post was a “complexifier” for him as a public figure but that he was committed to the paper’s rigorous journalism.
On Friday, AMI issued a statement claiming that they acted lawfully but are investigating the allegations.
“American media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in reporting the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. Nonetheless, in light of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the board has convened and determined that it should promptly convene and thoroughly investigate these claims.”
#Breaking: American Media has responded to Bezos post. “American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.” Company will, however, investigate Bezos claims. pic.twitter.com/XhL8SBbWOY
— Eli Blumenthal (@eliblumenthal) February 8, 2019