connectVideoKurtz: Bezos’ girlfriend shared, texts, photos with friends, before tabloid leak
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz explains how this development may impact on the Amazon CEO’s claims of extortion against the National Enquirer.
Michael Sanchez, the brother of Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, is the recognition for the first time that he is a “deal with the devil”in the sense of the National Enquirer.
In an interview, Sanchez told me that he did together with the tabloid, while it was investigating, or his sister, Lauren, and the founder of Amazon, were having an extramarital affair.
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He also admitted that what he did can be seen as a betrayal of his sister and of Bezos, but insisted that he acted out of a desire to protect their fledgling relationship.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Researcher is the parent company paid Michael Sanchez $200,000 for texts that led to the exposure of Bezos’ relationship with tv personality Lauren Sanchez. AMI, who declined comment, is not dispute of the Journal account.
The front-page story, quoting “people familiar with the matter,” said the deal was unusual in that the parent company of American Media Inc. agreed to pay Michael Sanchez, regardless of whether or not a story was published.
Sanchez would not tell me whether he was paid for his “deal with the devil,” or that the command was executed. In a letter last month to Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, after an unflattering profile in that paper, Sanchez, who represented his sister on and off, said: “I have never sold a client’s story to a tabloid.”
Sanchez told the Magazine that her reporting on the alleged contract was the “old rumors” and that he is not “dignity,” the story of comment. He reiterated his longstanding denial that he gave the Researcher a naked selfies of Bezos, that he has told me and other journalists that he had never seen.
The Magazine says that David Pecker, AMI’s owner and an old friend of President Trump, approved the $200,000 deal that was negotiated by his representatives. The story describes a lunch on that Cock, angry curses in his general advice for media, Cameron Stracher, to agree to pay of Sanchez. When Stracher to push back, the Journal says, Pecker told him that if he was unhappy he could stop, that Stracher did.
The alleged Oct. 26 contract contained a provision to make it clear that the pay of Sanchez was not a “catch and kill” situation. Federal prosecutors, in an immunity deal with one AMI, say the Beak and the company did so in the pay of former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 during the campaign, and the suppression of her claim that she had an affair with a Wiener is pal Asset.
While the refusal to the alleged $200,000 contract, Sanchez tried to explain why he would not be affected by such a sum.
“My goal was and is to protect Jeff, Lauren, my parents, my niece and my nephews,” he said. “Anyone who does not get it, that is an idiot.”
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Sanchez’s argument is that he was more than a million dollars from his relationship with the world’s richest man, and the production deals, real estate commissions, luxury travel, and a management role in his sister’s company, that the doing of the work for Amazon. The risk of all of that, he said, would be insane.
In Sanchez’s view, he hoped to make use of his 20-year relationship with the Researcher, that are customers, to soften and slow down the story on a moment that at least one other tabloid surgery was hunting for the same allegations.
Sanchez told me that when he heard of the Researcher is engaging in the affair in the beginning of October, he made a deal to delay the story until after Thanksgiving. The reason, he said, was to buy time for the couple to solidify their relationship in a time when they were still not separated from their spouses. Sanchez acknowledged that he could have just said that they worked for the story, but secretly acted, because he felt the ensuing scandal would lead to an immediate rupture.
In exchange, Sanchez said, he told AMI that he would help the photographers take a photo of the couple kissing in a public place. He said that he made a number of efforts in that regard, but also undermined its own promise by urging the couple not to sit near windows in restaurants. The Researcher never got a kiss photo.
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Sources familiar with the AMI’s challenge of the bill on the postponement of the story, saying the story was not good as ready to publish in October. The piece ran in the beginning of January, after further reporting and legal review, and after discussions with Bezos representatives failed to produce an agreement.
Sanchez also told me that he believes that Dylan Howard, AMI’s chief content officer, engaged in “an extortion and blackmail attempt” against Bezos. The billionaire also expressed that the indictment against AMI in a blog post after the story broke.
AMI offered no new comment on Sanchez’s indictment against Howard. Pecker’s lawyer, Advantages Abramowitz, told ABC last month, “It is absolutely not extortion and not blackmail. What happened was the story was given to The National Enquirer by a reliable source that was information given to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to the story.”