When you’re super-rich, you by no means must say “The dog ate my homework” or “The bitch set me up.” The very, very wealthy are very, very completely different from you and me: they will afford to assemble spectacular, dream-palace excuses after they do issues like cheat on their wives.
“The evil sort-of-king of the Saudis hacked my cell phone because my newspaper was tough on him,” is an excuse solely Jeff Bezos would have lashed collectively. The new Amazon expose “Amazon Unbound,” by Brad Stone, clarifies that Bezos’s declare is about as credible because the Amazon Fire Phone.
[Note to editor: Geez, this piece is going to be pretty harsh. Can I publish it anonymously so my Amazon Prime packages don’t mysteriously get delayed? Ed: No]
Bezos leaned closely on his marriage to MacKenzie Tuttle in an effort to soften his public picture with the common-or-garden “my wife is the really impressive one here” routine calculated to make journalists purr. He bragged that he did the dishes each evening and mentioned she was so resourceful she might “get me out of a third-world prison.” But MacKenzie, a shy novelist, would make an ungainly match for a “Midnight Express” state of affairs. She couldn’t even deal with cocktail events, which she as soon as known as “nerve-wracking.”
But by the spring of 2018, Bezos was concerned with the a lot more gregarious Lauren Sanchez, a va-va-voom former Miss Junior America New Mexico, “Extra” reporter and helicopter pilot who knew all people in Hollywood, primarily as a result of she was married to one of many prime expertise brokers, Patrick Whitesell. Her passion was suspiciously aligned with Amazon’s last-minute demand for a helipad at its proposed “HQ2” location in Queens.
This Beverly Hills Bond Villain contact was the final straw for some New Yorkers, and after a Democratic outcry led by AOC, Bezos nixed the challenge on Valentine’s Day 2019.
Bezos publicly made clear Sanchez was his new woman on a number of events in 2018, inside view of paparazzi and within the firm of her brother Michael, a “handsome, gay Trump supporter” and agent for right-wing pundits and reality-TV stars, notes Stone in his guide. Michael Sanchez declared chapter in 2010, owing his sister $165,000. The pair bickered over time however they had been additionally unusually tight: When Bezos despatched her naughty texts, she often forwarded them to Michael.
Oops. No Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia wanted: Bezos made the identical mistake as a nervous high-school woman making an attempt to appease her jerk boyfriend. He didn’t perceive that his texts could go public. One of the all-time tech geniuses failed to know the idea generally known as “forwarding.” As if we would have liked more proof that even the best brains are slaves to choices comprised of their pants. Like Anthony Weiner and Donald Trump, Bezos is a kind of guys who would have been a lot better off in a world through which smartphones hadn’t been invented.
Bezos has himself accountable in one other method: earlier, his Washington Post delved into the (finally not terribly significant) story of how the National Enquirer’s father or mother firm AMI had paid sources for filth about Trump, solely to bury them. This made the Enquirer mad sufficient to swerve away from its regular celeb focus and ship its reporters after Bezos. As it was doing so, Michael Sanchez despatched an e-mail to an in depth pal (the pair had as soon as gotten tattoos collectively) who was additionally one in every of AMI’s Hollywood reporters: Andrea Simpson. He instructed Simpson he knew a few married “Bill Gates type” who was having an affair with a “B-list married actress,” that means his sister. Ouch, bro.
Michael Sanchez mentioned he had compromising footage to promote. As a tease, in search of to maximise his payday, he despatched images with faces obscured. “By the body, I think it may be Jeff Bezos,” she wrote to her boss. (We know all this due to a lawsuit Michael Sanchez later introduced). This set off some bells again at firm HQ in New York, and by “bells” I imply “efflorescent spasms of ecstasy.” Think: Meg Ryan within the deli. Editors rapidly guessed that the woman within the images was Lauren Sanchez, and when Michael flew out to have dinner with them, he confirmed it. Everyone testified below oath that he was the only supply of the salacious materials.
Enquirer writer David Pecker, nervous about getting sued by a bullet-headed billionaire, and the aftereffects of the catch-and-kill scandal concerning Trump, insisted the Bezos story be utterly hermetic.
Michael Sanchez was such a cooperative little rat that Pecker and Co. puzzled in the event that they had been being arrange. He even tipped off the Enquirer when he was going to have dinner together with his sister and Bezos, so they might station photographers close by to secretly take footage. Sanchez is such a twisted bastard that he satisfied himself he was doing the lovebirds a favor by making their affair public: “Everything I did protected Jeff, Lauren and my family,” he emailed Stone. “I would never sell out anyone.”
Except he pocketed $200,000 from AMI doing simply that. He groused that he thought his contract with AMI stipulated that they wouldn’t run the juiciest stuff he gave them. (When he confirmed them an image that presupposed to be of Bezos’s genitalia, although, it was really only a inventory picture he had lifted from the Web; he by no means did have a below-the-belt Bezos picture.)
When they’d the story nailed down, Enquirer editors despatched a textual content to Lauren Sanchez and Bezos requesting an interview. Lauren, panicked, sought her brother’s recommendation; he coolly reassured her he would use his contacts on the Enquirer to assist her out. For this she paid him a $25,000-a-month payment on prime of the cash he was pocketing from the tabloid. Then he instructed her with a straight face he was going to go to New York and kind out these newspaper nasties for her. Classic. But needless to say Bezos was dumb sufficient to maintain having dinner with this man and by no means suspect that their Wonder Twins mutual clinginess may pose an issue.
Bezos mentioned AMI was blackmailing him in an infamous Medium post, a cost that was unfounded provided that prosecutors who seemed into the matter two years in the past declined to do something. Sensing that his allegation was skinny, Bezos additionally insinuated that “for reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve.” AMI had as soon as pursued a cope with the Saudis to purchase Time journal, however each documented element in regards to the Bezos-Sanchez story is simply defined with none involvement by the dominion.
Nor did Trump have something to do with the story, regardless of the pleasant relationship between AMI and the president. Powerful forces could certainly despise Jeff Bezos, however he merely stepped on his personal Amazon Prime package deal. Trump couldn’t completely keep away from the enjoyable, although, issuing one in every of his funniest concern-trolls again when he was allowed to have a Twitter account: “So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bezos being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Washington Post.”
When Bezos lastly determined he couldn’t cease the Enquirer, he tried to neutralize their report by breaking the information himself, asserting his impending divorce on Twitter. Michael Sanchez, burned, texted an Enquirer editor his apologies that Bezos had ruined their enjoyable, saying, “Thanks for trying to work with me, even if those f—s wouldn’t.”
The Enquirer then revealed its massive scoop on-line, forward of its weekly print run, as a result of it was the main points of the story offered by Michael Sanchez, not the mere information of the breakup, that constituted a blockbuster scoop. Sanchez got here below suspicion from Bezos’s personal investigators so he started to mislead varied media retailers, together with the Washington Post, which falsely reported that the Enquirer had begun reporting on Bezos’s affair in summer time of 2018, months earlier than that occurred. After a number of months of this AMI determined they’d had sufficient, and uncovered their rat, saying Michael Sanchez has “waived any source confidentiality” by making false representations.
Funnily sufficient, although, Bezos really did get hacked by the Saudis, however it had nothing to do with the Sanchez affair and it was earlier than the regime murdered Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, infuriating the Washington Post and galvanizing a sequence of exposes in regards to the Saudis. Bezos bought nailed by the type of rip-off that is so primary it is normally deployed towards aged grandparents, or John Podesta. After a buddy-buddy journey to Saudi Arabia, through which Bezos promised to construct $2 billion price of servers within the desert, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despatched an encrypted textual content (in Arabic) to Bezos’s cellphone, which Bezos unwisely opened. Oops, once more; the file contained Pegasus, a malware app developed by Israelis.
So: Bezos is a supervillain? Fake information. The actual deal is MBS, who figured it is likely to be helpful to have some filth on America’s richest man. This man is such a ruthlessly crafty James Bond adversary he may as properly be known as Oilfinger.
As for Bezos, he’s more like Doctor Slow.