After Jeff Bezos’ longtime investigator published an op-ed in the Daily Beast over the weekend suggesting that Saudi Arabia had somehow been involved in leaking text messages from Bezos’ phone to the National Enquirer, the tabloid slapped down the accusation.
“Despite the false and unsubstantiated claims of Mr. de Becker, American Media has, and continues to, refute the unsubstantiated claims that the materials for our report were acquired with the help of anyone other than the single source who first brought them to us,” American Media Inc. said in a statement obtained by Mediaite.
“The fact of the matter is, it was Michael Sanchez who tipped the National Enquirer off to the affair on Sept. 10, 2018, and over the course of four months provided all of the materials for our investigation,” the statement reads. “His continued efforts to discuss and falsely represent our reporting, and his role in it, has waived any source confidentiality. There was no involvement by any other third party whatsoever.”
Bezos funded his own investigation into the matter after private text messages between himself and Lauren Sanchez, an Los Angeles news anchor, were published in the National Enquirer, exposing his affair and prompting his divorce. Bezos alleges the tabloid apparently tried to extort him by threatening to publish private photos of him.
The Amazon executive believes the whole ordeal is politically motivated, given the National Enquirer’s close ties to Trump, who regularly criticizes Amazon and The Washington Post, both owned by Bezos. Lauren Sanchez’s brother Michael Sanchez has admitted to being involved in the Enquirer’s investigation into the affair, but claims he only helped in order to protect his sister and Bezos.