World's richest man faces nude-photo blackmail by the National Enquirer

Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and world's richest man, has been threatened by the American tabloid The National Enquirer over nude photos it said it has of him

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos leaked emails sent to him by a tabloid newspaper that threatened to humiliate him
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos leaked emails sent to him by a tabloid newspaper that threatened to humiliate him

Jeff Bezos, the man behind internet retailer Amazon, and the world's richest person said he has been threatened by a tabloid newspaper with publishing nude photos of him.

Bezos believes that Donald Trump, the US President, is in the midst of it.

David Pecker, owner of The National Enquirer, the threatening newspaper, is good friends with Donald Trump, Bezos claims. Pecker had already published a story on Bezos's extramarital affair.

The tabloid blackmailed Bezos when he said he'd investigate how the paper had obtained text messages exposing his infidelity. If he doesn't stop probing, the tabloid would publish pictures of stark naked Bezos.

American Media Incorporated (AMI), owner of The National Enquirer, has been accused before of a practice known as 'catch-and-kill', a process of suppressing potentially damaging stories to Donald Trump's presidency. 

Trump has also waged a running war of words against Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, which he frequently denounces as part of the 'fake news media.'

PEN America, frequently on the frontline upholding freedom of expression said in a press statement that they condemn AMI for their collaboration with Trump if true.

“If indeed AMI’s threats and acts of intimidation toward the press were coordinated with the president or done at his request, it would represent a perilous escalation of the president’s war on the first amendment and the role of a free press. Congress should act immediately to investigate these serious allegations.”

According to emails released by Bezos, AMI offered a formal deal: the tabloid would agree to not publish the photos if Bezos and his investigators would release a public statement “affirming that they have no knowledge or basis” to suggest the Enquirer’s coverage was “politically motivated or influenced by political forces”.

But in a move that has earned widespread public praise, Bezos said he decided to publish the emails sent to his team “rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail”, despite the “personal cost and embarrassment they threaten”.

“Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out," he said.

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