Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed on Thursday that he was blackmailed by the publishing company behind the National Enquirer, a United States tabloid, which threatened to publish "intimate photos" after Bezos launched an investigation into its coverage.
Earlier this week, De Becker told the Post that he believed the Enquirer's reporting about Bezos was sparked by a "politically motivated" leak, and told the Post and the Daily Beast that his investigation had looked at Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez's brother, who is connected to a number of associates of President Donald Trump.
"Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims", the statement continued. He also wrote that the Enquirer wanted him and his security consultant to make a false statement that neither of them has any knowledge or basis to suggest the coverage by AMI was influenced by any political forces.
Bezos, however, made a decision to publish the correspondence rather than give in to those demands.
"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption".
"I asked him (de Becker) to prioritize protecting my time since I have other things I prefer to work on and to proceed with whatever budget he needed to pursue the facts in this matter", Bezos wrote in the post.
In addition to founding the world's largest e-commerce site, Bezos, is also the owner and benefactor of The Washington Post. Against his buddy David Pecker and AMI, the Enquirer's parent company.
"President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets". The thesis of the article, as revealed in the headline, was a simple and straightforward one: "If AMI's Jeff Bezos Shakedown Was Criminal, They Can Kiss Their Non-Prosecution Agreement Goodbye". In 2015, Bezos offered to blast Trump into space, but has mostly avoided mentioning Trump publicly - until Thursday. Emails published by Bezos appeared to show Enquirer executives threatening to publish a series of salacious photos of him and Sanchez if the demands were not met.
Did the NSA spy on Bezos at Trump's request and then turn the material over to Pecker? Trump has been highly critical of Bezos and the Post's coverage of the White House.
In one of the emails Bezos published, an AMI lawyer proposed that Bezos would disavow any belief that the Enquirer's coverage was "politically motivated", and in exchange, AMI would not "publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos".
AMI, according to Bezos, had alerted him that the Enquirer had a collection of racy photos of him and Sanchez. Bezos wrote, "It's unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy".
But what Bezos goes on to allege is that he had hired a private investigator to find out how Pecker got hold of his texts and exchanges of smartphone photographs with his lover, Lauren Sanchez.
After Bezos made his divorce plans public, the National Enquirer said it had been investigating Bezos for four months, claiming it had evidence that Bezos has been "whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet". AMI ran what is called in media industry "catch-and-kill" operation, buy stories but never publish them, as it did with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006.