Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published a bombshell in a blog post Medium Thursday, where the world’s richest man claims the National Enquirer, owned by American Media, threatened to publish nude photos of him amounting to blackmail.
“I was made an offer I couldn't refuse," Bezos writes. "Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten."
Shares of Amazon were modestly lower in the extended trading session.
The blog post, ‘No thank you, Mr. Pecker,’ titled after AMI CEO David Pecker, Bezos shares email exchanges describing photos the tabloid publication uncovered while investigating his relationship with former television news anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Jon P. Fine, Deputy General Counsel, Media for AMI, questioned the Amazon CEO’s judgment over the salacious photos and texts saying in an email that the discovered content is of public interest.
After creating Amazon out of his garage 24 years ago, Bezos says the ecommerce giant currently employs more than 600,000 people and is ranked among the most valuable publicly traded U.S. companies alongside Microsoft and Apple.
“I will let those results speak for themselves,” he writes.
The Amazon chief also mentions the immunity deal Pecker struck with the Justice Department related to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
I’ve written a post about developments with the National Enquirer and its parent company, AMI. You can find it here: https://t.co/G1ykJAPPwy— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 7, 2019
Bezos announced via Twitter earlier this year that he and wife MacKenzie were divorcing after 25 years of marriage. More than $137 billion is on the line, much of which is tied up in Amazon stock as Bezos is the largest single shareholder.
In the tweet, the former couple expressed how lucky they feel to have been partners for so many years and are “deeply grateful for every year of their marriage.”