- Jeff Bezos used a three-word email to reject what he said was a threat of “extortion” from the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., over his sexts.
- Bezos’ security consultant, Gavin de Becker, said in a Daily Beast op-ed article that AMI wanted Bezos to sign a contract and say that its story about Bezos’ relationship with Lauren Sanchez was not politically motivated and that no “eavesdropping or hacking” was involved in its newsgathering.
- “No thank you,” Bezos replied, according to de Becker.
- De Becker said his investigation had concluded that “the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information.”
Jeff Bezos breezily replied in a three-word email to what he said was a threat of “extortion” from the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc.
That’s according to his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, who in an op-ed article in The Daily Beast on Saturday shed more light on the Amazon CEO’s response to the Enquirer delving into his relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV host.
De Becker said that AMI’s email to him and Bezos demanded that they sign an eight-page contract in exchange for the publication keeping under wraps intimate pictures of the world’s richest man.
De Becker said the contract would have required him to make a public statement in which he distanced AMI’s reporting on Bezos and Sanchez’s affair from any political motivations, as well as say it had not used “electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process.”
Upon getting the email, Bezos immediately replied, “No thank you,” de Becker said.
On February 7, Bezos published an explosive blog post revealing AMI’s plan and accusing the company – led by CEO David Pecker – of “extortion and blackmail.” The title of Bezos’ post, a nod to his email, was “No thank you, Mr. Pecker.”
De Becker’s op-ed article sought to illustrate how unusual AMI’s request was. He said that the company wanted to prevent any chance of it being accused of “electronic eavesdropping or hacking” even though he had never publicly said anything about it using these methods.
“I’m writing this today because it’s exactly what the Enquirer scheme was intended to prevent me from doing,” de Becker wrote.
He added that his investigation had concluded that “the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information.”
AMI throws a source under the bus
On Sunday, AMI denied that Saudi Arabia had any involvement in its story on Bezos – and in doing so, it threw a source under a bus.
That source is Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother, who has acknowledged playing a role in the story but has consistently and strenuously denied being the source of Bezos’ intimate pictures.
“Despite the false and unsubstantiated claims of Mr. de Becker, American Media has, and continues to, refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us,” AMI said in a statement to The Daily Beast.
“The fact of the matter is, it was Michael Sanchez who tipped the National Enquirer off to the affair on Sept. 10, 2018, and over the course of four months provided all of the materials for our investigation. His continued efforts to discuss and falsely represent our reporting, and his role in it, has waived any source confidentiality. There was no involvement by any other third party whatsoever.”
Saudi Arabia has also denied any involvement in the story.
“This is something between the two parties. We have nothing to do with it,” Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said in February.
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