Jeff Bezos has just put up a remarkable blog post on Medium in which he accuses the publisher of the National Enquirer of "extortion and blackmail." The Amazon CEO says that instead of giving in, he's going public with the threats—even publishing the letters sent to him by American Media Inc., owned by David Pecker—"despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten." That apparently includes intimate photos and texts between him and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, ones that are even racier than those recently published by the Enquirer. Bezos says AMI is threatening to publish the new photos unless Bezos calls off his investigation into how the Enquirer obtained the pairs' texts and unless Bezos publicly declares that he has found no political motivation on the part of AMI for revealing the Bezos-Sanchez affair.
"No thank you, Mr. Pecker," is the headline on Bezos' post. One of the letters from American Media published by Bezos has descriptions of several personal images the Enquirer has in its possession, including a "below the belt selfie" of Bezos. (See the Medium post for details.) Bezos writes that "any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat" to a larger principle: "If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?” Pecker is a longtime ally of President Trump, and Trump has made no secret of his disdain for Bezos, owner of the Washington Post. Bezos also claims that Pecker is "apoplectic" over a Post investigation into Pecker's interest in expanding into Saudi Arabia. Bezos' security chief, Gavin de Becker, has previously said that "strong leads point to political motives" in the Enquirer's Bezos exposé, notes Business Insider. (Read more Jeff Bezos stories.)