REPORT: National Enquirer faces new legal woes after Bezos claims

FEBRUARY 9, 2019

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The publisher of the National Enquirer is facing questions about whether it violated a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors after allegations from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the tabloid tried to blackmail him. Sources on Friday told Bloomberg News that federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York are looking into publisher American Media Inc.’s (AMI) conduct, raising the prospect of new legal problems for the company.

At stake is an agreement AMI entered into with federal prosecutors to gain immunity in the probe into possible campaign finance violations in President Trump’s 2016 campaign. As part of the agreement, AMI admitted to paying former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to suppress her claims of an affair with Trump.

The article goes on to state the following:

Bezos, the head of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, dropped a bombshell on Thursday night, accusing the National Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail” in an online post. Bezos said the tabloid threatened to publish intimate photos of him unless he dropped a private investigation into the tabloid. Bezos also suggested the Post’s coverage of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had angered AMI CEO David Pecker.

“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,” Bezos wrote.

AMI in their own released statement Friday said it “believes fervently” that the tabloid “acted lawfully,” but pledged to quickly investigate Bezos’ claims.

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