Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is attempting to recover a massive sum in legal fees from his girlfriend’s brother Michael Sanchez following the dismissal of his defamation lawsuit against the billionaire, according to a report Tuesday.
Sanchez sued Bezos for defamation last February, alleging the Amazon founder and his associates falsely claimed that Sanchez leaked explicit photos of Bezos to the National Enquirer. The tabloid’s Jan. 2019 article revealed an affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, who are still in a relationship.
A California judge dismissed the defamation lawsuit in November, ruling that Michael Sanchez’s claims that journalists had told him Bezos’ team had identified him as the leaker did not constitute sufficient evidence of wrongdoing.
In a request filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday, Bezos seeks to recover $1.7 million from Sanchez, according to Bloomberg, which first obtained the document. The filing further claims that Sanchez sought to force a settlement “by threatening discovery and public disclosure of private matters.”
“Mr. Bezos’s fee request is obscene, even grotesque, on many levels,” Sanchez’s attorney, Tom Warren, said in a statement to the publication.
Michael Sanchez acknowledged in his lawsuit that he spoke to the Enquirer about the affair ahead of the article’s publication but has denied that he was the source of the photo leak. Bezos publicly accused the outlet of attempting to blackmail him with the explicit photos and details of his relationship with Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos has a personal net worth of more than $193 billion, according to Forbes. He is the world’s richest person.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.