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Posted: February 12, 2019

Jeff Bezos probe finds mistress's brother leaked messages to National Enquirer, reports say

Jeff Bezos Said National Enquirer Publisher Threatened to Leak Embarrassing Photos

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Private investigators looking into how the National Enquirer got private text messages sent between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his mistress have determined his mistress’s brother was the source, according to multiple reports.

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An unidentified source told The Associated Press on Monday that the investigation launched by Bezos found that Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’ mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, leaked the couple’s messages to the National Enquirer. Michael Sanchez is a supporter of President Donald Trump who also works as his sister’s manager, according to the AP.

Multiple sources also confirmed to The Daily Beast that the investigation found Michael Sanchez to be the source of the leak.

It was not immediately clear how Michael Sanchez got access to the messages.

"The story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had been giving information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz, told ABC News on Sunday. Abramowitz represents David Pecker, the chief executive of American Media LLC, or AMI, the company that publishes the Enquirer.

Abramowitz did not name the Enquirer’s source on Sunday, although he told ABC News, “It was a source that was well-known to both Mr. Bezos and Miss Sanchez.”

Bezos said last week that AMI officials threatened to publish explicit photos of him if declined to stop investigating how the tabloid got his private messages and unless he publicly declared that the National Enquirer’s coverage of him was not politically motivated.

>> Federal officials, National Enquirer publisher probing Jeff Bezos' claims of attempted extortion

Bezos has been a frequent target of Trump’s ire, with the president often accusing him of using his Washington Post newspaper as a lobbying arm for Amazon. Pecker, a longtime friend of the president, in the past has used the Enquirer to buy damaging stories about Trump without publishing them, a tactic known as “catch and kill.”

>> Federal prosecutors have evidence Trump involved in hush money payments, report says

Prosecutors reached a deal with AMI granting the company immunity in exchange for information in its probe of hush money payments made to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Officials with AMI have denied any wrongdoing, however reports surfaced last week that federal prosecutors were probing whether the company breached its immunity deal in its dealings with Bezos.

Both Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were married to other people during their relationship. In January, Bezos and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, announced they were divorcing.

>> Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos divorcing wife MacKenzie after 25 years of marriage

Officials continue to investigate.


Brent N. Clarke/Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

Jeff Bezos probe finds mistress’ brother leaked messages to National Enquirer, reports say

Brent N. Clarke/Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP

Jeff Bezos probe finds mistress’ brother leaked messages to National Enquirer, reports say

In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, Jeff Bezos attends the premiere of "The Post" at The Newseum in Washington. Private investigators working for Bezos have determined the brother of the Amazon CEO's mistress leaked the couple's intimate text messages to the National Enquirer. That's according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke Monday to The Associated Press. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP)

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