×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Federal Prosecutors Reviewing National Enquirer’s Jeff Bezos Story

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are looking at whether Jeff Bezos’s claims that he was blackmailed by the National Enquirer may have violated a non-prosecution agreement that the U.S. Attorney reached with Enquirer-parent AMI last year, the Associated Press reported.

AMI avoided being held liable for its role in arranging $150,000 in hush-money payments to Karen McDougal, a model who claims to have an affair with President Trump. The role of AMI was revealed as part of the federal investigation into Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. As part of the agreement, AMI will not be charged with campaign finance violations, but it is conditioned on the requirement that it not commit any crime for the next three years.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, Nicholas Biase, declined to comment.

In an extraordinary Medium post on Thursday, Bezos claimed that the Enquirer threatened to publish nude and other personal photos unless he and his private investigator, Gavin de Becker, issued a statement in which they said that they had no basis for suggesting that the Enquirer’s coverage was not politically motivated. The Enquirer published an expose on Bezos’s extramarital relationship with Lauren Sanchez that included texts between the two.

Bezos had tapped De Becker to investigate how the Enquirer got the texts. In his Medium post, Bezos published emails that the Enquirer’s representatives sent to Marty Singer, De Becker’s attorney.

On Friday, AMI released a statement saying that they have been engaged in “good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him.

“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. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”

In his Medium post, Bezos suggested that there may be a Saudi Arabia connection to the Enquirer’s reporting on him and their reaction to his team’s investigation into how they obtained text messages and photos.

“For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve,” Bezos wrote, while referring to reports of AMI CEO David Pecker’s ties to the Saudi royal family. That said, a Senate Intelligence Committee source said that they did not see this as being part of its jurisdiction.

A spokesman for Bezos confirmed Friday that Bezos’ post on Medium was authentic but declined to comment further.

Separately, actor Terry Crews claimed in a tweet Friday that AMI also “tried to silence me” in his lawsuit against WME and agent Adam Venit, whom Crews accused of groping him at a 2016 party. According to Crews, AMI fabricated “stories of me with prostitutes — and even went so far as creating fake receipts.” Venit left WME following Crews’ accusations.

More Politics

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Pete Buttigieg Show Business Donations

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is Totally Up for Booking Phish for His Inauguration

    Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign seems to be going Phish-ing… in the best possible sense. (Unless you just hate the band Phish so much there is no best possible sense.) The Democratic presidential candidate has previously indicated his love for the group, and when a reporter suggested Phish play at his theoretical swearing-in festivities in 2021, [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Donald Trump

    HBO Fires Back at Trump's 'Game of Thrones'-Inspired 'No Collusion' Tweet

    HBO is firing back at President Donald Trump after he sent another “Game of Thrones”-inspired tweet in response to the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation. “Though we can understand the enthusiasm for ‘Game of Thrones’ now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer [...]

  • Mueller Report Released: Networks Cut the

    Networks Curb Their Enthusiasm, William Barr Flexes as Mueller Report Goes Public

    The run-up to Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the conduct of President Donald Trump suggested it was just one component part of a busy news day, something close to business as usual. And the broadcast — in which Barr stormily defended the President as [...]

  • Mueller Report: Redacted Version of Trump

    Mueller's Report Details Possible Trump Obstruction but Reaches No Conclusion

    WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation leaves open the question of whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice, making clear that Trump was not exonerated. That was one of many takeaways after a redacted version of the highly anticipated document was released to the public on Thursday, captivating Congress, [...]

  • Attorney General Says Mueller Report Redactions

    Attorney General William Barr Defends Trump, Says Mueller Report Redactions Will Be 'Limited'

    WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr, in a press conference in advance of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, said that the redactions will be limited. But speaking to reporters on Thursday, Barr also offered what amounted to a defense of President Trump’s conduct as Mueller’s investigation unfolded, in what Democrats and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content