In January, Bezos asked Los Angeles County Superior Court to award him nearly $1.7 million in legal fees. The request came months after Doyle dismissed Sanchez’s defamation lawsuit against Bezos.
Judge John Doyle awarded Bezos $218,385, plus an additional $36,000 in legal fees. In his ruling last Friday, Doyle said the size of Bezos’ legal team was “not reasonable” relative to the demands of his legal dispute with Sanchez, according to Bloomberg, which first obtained the court filing.
“This was not a matter that required seven partners and 11 associates,” Doyle said.
Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren, sued Bezos for defamation last February. At the time, he accused the Amazon founder of making false claims that Sanchez leaked explicit photos of Bezos to the National Enquirer. In January 2019, the tabloid published an article that revealed Bezos’ relationship with Lauren Sanchez.
Sanchez acknowledged in his lawsuit that he was in contact with the Enquirer prior to the article’s publication. He denied leaking the photos.
Bezos accused the National Enquirer of attempting to blackmail him with the explicit photos and asserted the tabloid had political motivations for its actions.
The lawsuit was dismissed last November. Doyle ruled that Sanchez’s claims that journalists had told him Bezos’ team identified him as the leaker did not constitute sufficient evidence of defamation.
Sanchez’s attorney, Tom Warren, praised the court’s decision regarding the legal fees.
“When Mr. Bezos filed his motion for $1.7 million in attorney’s fees, we discussed how grotesque the request was, on many levels,” Warren said in a statement. “Today, the court resoundingly rejected his request.”