- The Daily Beast reports that it was Michael Sanchez, the brother of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ lover, Lauren Sanchez, who obtained the couple’s private text messages and passed them onto The National Enquirer.
- Citing “multiple sources” at AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, The Beast confirmed what AMI had hinted at earlier on Sunday, that a “reliable” source close to both people provided “information.”
- In an extraordinary public statement last week, Bezos blogged that the tabloid was threatening to release the texts as a favour to, or at the behest of, US President Donald Trump.
The brother of Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, gave the compromising text messages of a sexual nature to the tabloid National Enquirer, The Daily Beast reports.
The Beast cited “multiple sources” inside the tabloid’s parent company as well as another source close to AMI leaders that Michael Sanchez was the source of the compromising texts.
AMI has remained largely silent on the source of the messages that have triggered a political, commercial and nationally moral upheaval but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview
A lawyer for AMI and the tabloid’s CEO David Pecker, Elkan Abramowitz, denied the allegations that the tabloid tried to blackmail the Amazon CEO.
“It absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail,” Abramowitz, told ABC on Sunday.
“What happened was the story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had been given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to the story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr Bezos and Miss Sanchez.”
The Daily Beast reportedly put the question to Sanchez’s brother more than half-dozen times. He did not reply.
Earlier, Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger reported that Michael Sanchez was already the source of intense speculation regrading the messages.
“(Michael Sanchez) is an avid supporter of President Donald Trump and associate of Trump-linked figures including Carter Page and the recently-indicted Roger Stone, though he denied being involved.
And Abramowitz on Sunday dropped hints that the source was a long time associate of the tabloid.
“Bezos and Ms. Sanchez knew who the source was,” the lawyer said.
Hitting back at Bezos’ seeming suggestion that the Trump administration and the Enquirer’s ties to Saudi Arabia may have been involved, Abramowitz said the claim was “libel.”
“It was not the White House. It was not Saudi Arabia,” he added referring to Bezos damning post. “And the libel that was going out there slamming AMI was that this was all a political hatchet job sponsored by either a foreign nation or somebody politically in this country.”
In Bezos’ open letter , the owner of the Washington Post referred to several motives and characters that could form the outline of a conspiracy. Bezos never explicitly connected the dots himself, but the suggestion was all too clear.
AMI, according to the world’s richest man, had alerted him that the Enquirer had a collection of saucy, private images of Bezos and Sanchez. The tabloid threatened to publish them, Bezos said, unless he put out a statement that he and the investigator he hired to look into the Enquirer’s story about his affair “have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.”
“If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they will publish the photos, and quickly,” Bezos said .
His blog post went on to outline what he said were efforts by AMI to get him to deny that the tabloid’s sexy exposé of his affair had any political agenda or origin.
According to The Daily Beast, another source in “extensive communication” with senior leaders at AMI also said that Michael Sanchez was the supplier of the offending texts.