Michael Sanchez has filed a defamation lawsuit against his sister’s boyfriend Jeff Bezos, claiming that Bezos and his security consultant falsely told journalists that Sanchez provided Bezos’ nude photos to the National Enquirer.
A recent New York Times report pushed back against the claim that Bezos’ phone was hacked in May 2018 by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Bezos’ personal hired security consultant Gavin de Becker compiled a report outlining the claim that Bezos’ iPhone X had been hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message from the account belonging to the crown prince.
But the Times reported that there was no definitive link to the alleged hack by Saudi Arabia and the 11-page National Enquirer exposé of Bezos’ affair with Lauren Sanchez, which include leaked intimate text messages sent between the two prior to Bezos’ public announcement of his divorce with his then-wife Mackenzie Bezos.
Bezos also alleged that the National Enquirer engaged in “extortion and blackmail” by threatening to release nude selfies Bezos had taken and sent to Sanchez. The Times reports that federal agents and prosecutors found evidence that Sanchez sent the intimate texts and photos to her brother, who leaked them to the Enquirer for $200,000.
Now, Bloomberg reports that Michael Sanchez claims Bezos and de Becker told journalists that he was the one who provided the nude photos to the Enquirer, but Sanchez says he has never possessed the photos.
In the filing, Sanchez admits to entering into an agreement with the tabloid, but claims it was to “get ahead of the story” about Bezos’ affair with his sister, and Sanchez says his efforts were to limit the backlash against the pair.
Sanchez also says his agreement was entered with the Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc, which was already the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office into its role in distributing hush-money payments to women who allegedly had affairs with President Donald Trump.
In a statement to Bloomberg through her lawyer, Lauren Sanchez said her brother “secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer — a deep and unforgivable betrayal. My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace.”
A lawyer for Bezos told Bloomberg that the Amazon CEO would respond to the new allegations in court.