- Michael Sanchez is the brother of Lauren Sanchez, Amazon CEOJeff Bezos‘ reported girlfriend, and has been named by multiple publications as the source behind the leaking of intimate texts and nude photos of the couple to the National Enquirer.
- In a new interview with Fox News, Sanchez said he made a “deal with the devil,” referring to the tabloid newspaper, but that deal didn’t include any texts or pictures.
- Sanchez is staunchly maintaining his innocence, even after reports earlier this week said he was paid $US200,000 to $US250,000 by the National Enquirer’s publisher to provide the leaked texts and photos.
Michael Sanchez said he made a “deal with a devil” in cooperating with the National Enquirer ahead of the paper’s bombshell exposé revealing the relationship between Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.
In comments to Fox News, Michael Sanchez said he was in talks with the National Enquirer during its investigation of the relationship between Bezos and the former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. However, Michael Sanchez said he acted “out of a desire to protect” and “buy time” for Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, who both hadn’t officially separated from their spouses or notified their friends.
The Fox News story comes on the heels of a report in The Wall Street Journal that said the National Enquirer paid Michael Sanchez $US200,000 for details about the high-profile relationship. People familiar with the matter told The Journal that the publisher of the National Enquirer, America Media Inc. (AMI), paid Sanchez to obtain intimate texts and nude photos exchanged between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.Vanity Fair previously reported Michael Sanchez had been paid $US250,000 for providing texts and photos from the couple to the tabloid.
Those leaked texts were published in the National Enquirer days after the Amazon CEO announced on Twitter in January that he and his wife, Mackenzie Bezos, were getting divorced. The story was the result of a four-month-long investigation into the affair between Jeff Bezos, 55, and Lauren Sanchez, 49, during which reporters apparently tracked the couple “across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and ‘quality time’ in hidden love nests.”
But Michael Sanchez said he wasn’t the source of the racy texts included in the National Enquirer’s story. Instead, Sanchez told Fox News that he made the deal with the intent to “soften and slow down” the story on the relationship between his sister, Lauren, and the powerful Amazon CEO. Sanchez said he was successful in working with AMI to delay the news story until after Thanksgiving, even though the National Enquirer said it first started looking into the affair in early October.
As part of the deal, Sanchez said he helped AMI attempt to get a picture of the couple kissing in public. The National Enquirer never published any such photo.
Even in the interview with Fox News in which Michael Sanchez said he made a deal with AMI, the Hollywood manager has refused to say whether he was actually paid the reported $US200,000 or $US250,000. In response to The Journal’s report on his deal with AMI, Sanchez said the story was the result of “old rumours” and refused to “dignify” it with a comment.
Sanchez has continued to vehemently deny any role in leaking the photos and texts, including in comments he made to Business Insider last month. His vocal maintaining of innocence has lasted despite a flurry of reports from news outlets, including The Journal, Vanity Fair, The Daily Beast, and CNN.
Bezos’ team of private investigators, led by Gavin de Becker, also concluded that Michael Sanchez was the source of the leaked messages.
Last month, Bezos broke his silence on the scandal to accuse AMI of “extortion and blackmail.” In a bombshell post on the blogging platform Medium, Bezos published emails he said were from AMI that showed the publisher had threatened to publish naked photos of Bezos unless he ceased his investigation into who was responsible for the leak and made a public statement saying the investigation wasn’t “politically motivated.”
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