More details have emerged about the public spat between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer.
The Wall Street Journal published a new report Monday evening revealing that Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ new alleged partner Lauren Sanchez, received a $200,000 payment from the tabloid in exchange for racy texts sent from Bezos to Lauren Sanchez. It follows a previous story from The Daily Beast linking Michael Sanchez and the National Enquirer.
It’s still unclear how Michael Sanchez obtained the text messages, which were published by the National Enquirer two days after Bezos announced that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, decided to divorce after 25 years of marriage. But the private information sparked a dramatic debate inside the National Enquirer and its parent company American Media Inc. over how much to pay and whether to publish the story, WSJ reported.
On Feb. 7, Bezos published a stunning post on Medium in which the Amazon founder accused the Enquirer and American Media of extortion. He said AMI had threatened to publish a number of explicit photos of Bezos if he didn’t call off a private investigation into how his texts to Lauren Sanchez had been leaked.
Speaking at an all-hands meeting earlier this month, Bezos reportedly told employees that he is “as engaged and focused on Amazon as ever” despite the personal and public crises.