- A lawyer at the heart of the National Enquirer’s war with Jeff Bezos used to be a loyal servant of the billionaire at Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- American Media Inc’s Deputy General Counsel Jon Fine worked at Amazon from 2006 to 2015, and was focused primarily on publishing and the company’s Kindle business.
- Fine took up a job at AMI in November 2018. He wrote two of the emails published in Bezos’ explosive blog post last week, in which he accused the Enquirer of extortion.
A lawyer for the National Enquirer, who sent emails to Jeff Bezos which the billionaire described as “extortion,” used to work for Amazon.
The Wall Street Journal spotted that Jon Fine worked at Amazon from 2006 until early 2015. This is confirmed by Fine’s LinkedIn profile, which features his nine years of employment at Amazon, where he primarily worked in publishing and marketing the Kindle.
A former colleague of Fine’s told the Journal that Fine and Bezos’ families spent time together socially outside of work. The old colleague added that he was “shocked” that Fine had “put himself into this position.”
Fine joined the Enquirer’s publisher American Media Inc (AMI) in November 2018, evidenced in a press release at the time, which also refers to his time at Amazon. He is the firm’s deputy general counsel, media.
In his explosive blog post from last week, Bezos published two emails which appear to have been sent by Fine, both addressed to Bezos’ lawyer Martin Singer.
The first email lays out terms, demanding among other things:
“A public, mutually-agreed upon acknowledgment [sic] from the Bezos Parties, released through a mutually-agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility.”
Previously Bezos’ private investigator Gavin de Becker had told The Daily Beast that he suspected political motivations were behind the leak.
The second email is a cease and desist letter, which asserts that any implication that the Enquirer’s reporting on Bezos was politically motivated is false. Fine makes reference to the intimate photos which Bezos claims he was threatened with, saying:
“If your client agrees to cease and desist such defamatory behaviour, we are willing to engage in constructive conversations regarding the texts and photos which we have in our possession. Dylan Howard [AMI’s chief content officer] stands ready to discuss the matter at your convenience.”
Fine did not reply to requests for comment when contacted by the Journal.
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