A day after Jeff Bezos had accused National Enquirer of blackmailing him through extortion and other severely criminal means, the US Tabloid owner American Media Inc. has refuted Bezos’ claim. AMI has defended its investigation, claiming it to be fully lawful with no violations whatsoever.
According to a report from Bloomberg News, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan is reviewing whether the alleged extortion violated a non-prosecution agreement. This agreement was signed between AMI and the US federal prosecutors in relation to a $150,000 hush-money payment to a former Playboy model. The model had claimed to have affair with current US President Donald Trump. Trump had vehemently denied those accusations.
American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.AMI said in a statement
This entire saga became even more complicated, when security veteran Gavin de Becker told media that the leak was politically motivated. De Becker led the investigation on behalf of Bezos, into discovering as to how National Enquirer got access to alleged chats between Jeff Bezos and Laurel Sanchez.
More so, Trump has repeatedly attacked Bezos and Washington Post — a prominent media property which the Amazon co-founder bought last year. Trump also, allegedly, has close ties to National Enquirer owner American Media Inc.
Bezos on his part, had penned a blog post on Thursday, mentioning about an email from AMI deputy general counsel, Jon Fine, to a lawyer representing de Becker. In the email, the National Enquirer owner has proposed a public acknowledgement from Bezos and de Becker that “they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that (AMI’s) coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”
In return for such an acknowledgment, according to the email, AMI offered “not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos,” Bezos said.
Bezos said the statement AMI was proposing was false and described the offer as an “extortionate proposal.”