Jeff Bezos sued by girlfriend Lauren's brother over defamation

Marco Green
February 3, 2020

Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is once again embroiled in a controversy involving his family life with his brother-in-law filing a defamation lawsuit against him.

The lawsuit said he was a "dutiful brother and manager" to Lauren at the time of the leak.

The Enquirer published a number of text messages between the couple in January 2019, but did not include nude selfies of the tech billionaire, which it also apparently obtained.

The lawsuit was filed late on Friday (Jan 31) in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Michael Sanchez, the brother of Lauren Sanchez and subject of media reports that he was a source for the Enquirer's splashy report past year revealing the affair between his sister and Bezos. In a statement provided by her lawyer, Terry Bird, Lauren Sanchez said, "Michael is my older brother".

Lauren Sanchez, however, described her brother's lawsuit against Jeff Bezos as "baseless and untrue".

Last week, it was reported that Michael received a $200,000 payment from the National Enquirer for leaking intimate images and text.

Jeff Bezos in February a year ago accused the publisher of National Enquirer, an American tabloid published by American Media Inc (AMI), of "blackmail" and "extortion". Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, suggested that the Saudis had been angry over the newspaper's coverage of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and columnist for The Post who was murdered by Saudi assassins weeks after writing critically of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the paper. Last month, the results of a forensic analysis commissioned by Bezos became public.

The story has expanded into an worldwide controversy, now involving allegations that Saudi Arabia's crown prince participated in a hack of Bezos' phone and an investigation by federal prosecutors in NY.

Michael admits helping the Enquirer with the story - but insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he had nothing to do with the X-rated photos, claiming the Enquirer's owner, AMI, got them "illegally".

Last week, in a further twist to Bezos' phone saga, The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Sanchez reportedly sold photos to the National Enquirer, which then published a controversial story about Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos' affair early previous year. In his lawsuit, Michael Sanchez did not address whether he had provided text messages or photographs, or whether he was compensated by the tabloid.

De Becker did not respond to a message seeking comment. American Media said in the emails that it would refrain from publishing the photographs if Bezos said publicly that he believed the exposé was not politically motivated.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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