Reporter Ronan Farrow retweeted Jeff Bezos Friday, saying that he and “at least one other prominent journalist” had received similar blackmailing attempts from American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, in the past.
I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar “stop digging or we’ll ruin you” blackmail efforts from AMI. (I did not engage as I don’t cut deals with subjects of ongoing reporting.) https://t.co/kHQdWIkVjV
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) February 8, 2019
Reporters at other outlets had similar stories.
Former AP editor:
We were warned explicitly by insiders that AMI had hired private investigators to dig into backgrounds of @AP journalists looking into the tabloid’s efforts on behalf of Trump. Never saw evidence of this either way, and it didn’t stop our reporting.
— Ted Bridis (@tbridis) February 8, 2019
Daily Beast editor-in-chief:
“In the process of reporting those stories, The Beast and a member of its staff were threatened by AMI’s attorneys.” https://t.co/BuaoenHGJe
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) February 8, 2019
Bezos wrote a blog post Thursday in which he claimed that the National Enquirer had attempted to blackmail him with leaked sexts he sent to his mistress unless he stopped poking around into how the magazine obtained their communications.
Bezos says in the post that other people have approached him with similar stories.
“Numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI, and how they needed to capitulate because, for example, their livelihoods were at stake,” he writes.
Bezos’ investigators think that a “government entity” may have given the National Enquirer the photos and that the attack is politically motivated.
American Media released a statement soon after the tweets Friday, saying that they would conduct an internal investigation based upon Bezos’ allegations.