Amazon chief Jeff Bezos published a remarkable post on Medium Thursday, where he exposed a concerted blackmail effort on the part of AMI head David Pecker to blackmail Bezos into retracting statements about his motivation for publishing stolen texts and photos between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, his mistress.
After the National Enquirer article, Bezos hired a private investigator, reasoning that if someone of his means was subject to blackmail and extortion and didn't fight back, they'd get away with it every time with people who have fewer resources. According to Bezos, an AMI official told him Pecker was "apoplectic" over the investigation.
Pecker's apoplexy led to the first extortion attempt, made by AMI Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard, who urged Bezos to reconsider and withdraw his claims that the hit was politically motivated, and closing with an appeal to "common sense."
Here's the inventory, as listed in the email:
However, in the interests of expediating this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer’s initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.
In addition to the “below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’” — The Enquirer obtained a further nine images. These include:
· Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting.
· Ms. Sanchez response — a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene.
· A shirtless Mr. Bezos holding his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring. He’s wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment.
· A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring.
· A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed.
· A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks.
· A naked selfie in a bathroom — while wearing his wedding ring. Mr. Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel — and the top of his pubic region can be seen.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region.
· Ms. Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage.
Here's the specific demand, per Bezos: "They will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we 'have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.'"
Bezos won't do it, which is why he's publishing the emails instead.
You don't have to like Jeff Bezos or approve of Amazon's business model to understand that David Pecker's conduct is way, way out of line. Like criminally out of line. I cannot help wondering if Pecker's immunity agreement has been violated with this act, and that's why he was willing to use the mob tactics on Bezos.
Your move, Pecker. But you may be caught in a checkmate.