Jeff Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez made it red-carpet official last month, but February brings a new set of headlines tied to their union. It emerged late Sunday that Sanchez's brother, Michael Sanchez, on Friday sued the Amazon founder for defamation. He alleges that Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely told media outlets that he was the one who leaked Bezos' nude photos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez is seeking unspecified damages over those allegedly false statements, which he claims spurred an FBI raid at his house, caused professional problems for him, and damaged his relationship with family members. Sanchez does acknowledge in his suit that he had a role in publicizing the couple's relationship, but says it was part of an effort to "get ahead of the story," Bloomberg reports.
When snaps of the couple taken in July 2018 caused questions to bubble up in the press, Sanchez claims he tried to seize control of the timing and direction of the story by striking a confidential $200,000 deal with American Media Inc. that, per a review of the contract by the Wall Street Journal, gave AMI "certain information, photographs, and text messages documenting [the] affair." Sanchez maintains he never supplied AMI with the graphic selfies. Bezos' lawyer simply said the allegations would be addressed in court. Lauren Sanchez was more loquacious via her lawyer: "Michael is my older brother. He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer—a deep and unforgivable betrayal. My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace." (Read more Jeff Bezos stories.)