Economy

AMI, Saudi Official Respond After Bezos Accuses Nat'l Enquirer of Blackmail

AMI, Saudi Official Respond After Bezos Accuses Nat'l Enquirer of Blackmail

The source had provided information to the company for at least seven years, Elkan Abramowitz, a lawyer for American Media chief executive David Pecker, said on ABC's This Week.

The person says those investigators identified Michael Sanchez, a California talent manager, as the person who leaked the texts.

He was asked if Mr Sanchez was the source and he said: "I'm not permitted to tell you or confirm or deny who the source is".

The explicit material, which is the centre of a "blackmail" row between the world's richest man and the National Enquirer, was allegedly passed to the United States tabloid by Michael Sanchez. Their investigation into how the National Enquirer and AMI handled the story, de Becker noted, is "ongoing".

Last week, Bezos announced that private pictures (including possibly a "nude selfie") he had sent to his girlfriend, entertainment television host Lauren Sanchez, were somehow intercepted by the National Enquirer, whom he alleged, threatened to publish them in the publication as part of an extortion plot against him, per reporting from the Boston Globe.

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Bezos' investigators have since turned over the results of their probe to attorney Richard Ben-Veniste for review and possible referral to law enforcement.

The identity of the Enquirer's source was only one of the many mysteries in a tale that is sordid and tangled, even by supermarket tabloid standards. Neither AMI nor Sanchez have confirmed the claim, but this new report cited multiple anonymous sources inside the media company.

The battle between the National Enquirer and Bezos went nuclear when the outlet published a lengthy expose piece on his affair that it proudly presented as its "largest investigation" ever.

The National Enquirer said Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, that it had tailed billionaire Jeff Bezos for four months across five states as he secretly rendezvoused with Lauren Sanchez. AMI Chairman and CEO David Pecker has had a long personal and business relationship with Trump, dating back to the late 1990s and has been accused of helping then-candidate Trump bury damaging stories in 2016.

Read the report here.