- The Washington Post published a blow-by-blow account of the National Enquirer’s mission to expose Jeff Bezos’ relationship with Lauren Sanchez.
- In a lengthy report, The Post reveals how Bezos tried to wrestle control of the narrative, enraging the Enquirer’s chief content officer.
- The Enquirer denied that the story was politically motivated.
Fresh details about the saga of Jeff Bezos’ love life were published in his own newspaper on Tuesday.
The Washington Post provided a blow-by-blow account of the National Enquirer’s mission to expose Bezos’ tryst with the former TV star Lauren Sanchez.
The nearly 3,000-word report – headlined “Was tabloid exposé of Bezos affair just juicy gossip or a political hit job?” – contained a timeline of how the story got out, including details of how Bezos tried to wrestle control of the narrative.
Historically, Donald Trump and Amazon have had a frosty relationship, and Trump has taken aim at Bezos’ ownership of The Washington Post. Trump said at a 2016 rally that if he were elected president, Amazon would “have such problems.”
Here’s how the Post’s blow-by-blow played out:
Citing three people with knowledge of the matter, The Post said the Enquirer was ready to publish its exposé on Bezos and Sanchez’s relationship in early autumn last year.
David Pecker, CEO of the Enquirer’s publisher American Media, apparently “parked” the story because it was so close to the midterms and he did not want to feed the narrative that he was a tool for Trump.
January 7, 2019
The Enquirer sent Bezos and Sanchez almost identical emails requesting comment.
“I write to request an interview with you about your love affair,” the messages said, according to copies obtained by The Post. It also included “dozens” of questions.
Around the same time, Sanchez’s brother, Michael Sanchez, told The Post that he agreed to meet Dylan Howard, American Media’s chief content officer, to review the story on behalf of his sister.
Sanchez is being questioned by Bezos’ private investigator, Gavin de Becker, about how the billionaire’s intimate texts to Lauren Sanchez leaked to the Enquirer. Michael Sanchez denies any involvement in leaking the texts.
Bezos tweets about his divorce from MacKenzie Bezos. “After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” he said.
The announcement “enraged” American Media’s Howard, according to The Post, citing two sources. He believed that Bezos had preempted the Enquirer’s scoop.
The Enquirer prints its story about Bezos and Lauren Sanchez’s romance. The Post said the original plan was to publish on January 16, but the date was “rushed” forward following Bezos’ tweet.
The Enquirer declined to comment on how it obtained Bezos’ texts. In a statement to the Post, it denied that the story was politically motivated by its links to Trump.
“American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise. End of speculation – and story,” it said.
Business Insider has contacted the company for comment.
The Enquirer had previously said it acted in ways that politically benefited Trump while he was running for office. The Enquirer bought the story of playmate Karen McDougal for $US150,000 in order to kill it.