Jeff Bezos pushed an unfounded concept that Saudi Arabia was behind the revelation of his affair with Lauren Sanchez — and relished the way it shifted the main focus away “from the more unsavory and complicated truth,” a brand new biography claims.
In “Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire,” writer Brad Stone says that there’s no “conclusive evidence” to again up options by the world’s richest man and his safety marketing consultant that Saudi Arabia tipped off the National Enquirer.
The practically 500-page e-book additionally reveals that the notorious, purported selfie of Bezos’ penis wasn’t actual — and was truly grabbed by Sanchez’s brother, Michael Sanchez, from a Web web site for homosexual escorts.
Michael Sanchez “later told FBI investigators for the Southern District of New York that he never actually had an explicit photograph of Bezos in his possession,” Stone writes.
In a chapter detailing how Bezos blew up his 25-year marriage to since-remarried MacKenzie Scott, Stone notes how the billionaire “artfully suggested” in a February 2019 essay posted on Medium.com that the Saudis could have behind the Enquirer’s unique.
Stone says Bezos “took the already muddled question of how the paper obtained his private text messages and photographs and confused it further” by writing on-line that the story’s genesis was “still to be better understood” and that “the Saudi angle seems to hit a particular nerve” with the Enquirer’s mum or dad firm, American Media Inc.
Stone additionally highlights an article that private-security professional Gavin de Becker — a longtime Bezos pal — penned the next month for the Daily Beast.
“Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details,” de Becker wrote.
But Stone claims the Enquirer truly acquired 9 “personal” photographs of Bezos from Michael Sanchez underneath phrases of a contract price round $200,000 — essentially the most it ever paid for a scoop.
And Michael Sanchez allegedly acquired the photographs from his sister, who “frequently forwarded” Bezos’ textual content messages to him, in line with the e-book.
“The sibling relationship was, to put it mildly, unusual,” Stone writes.
Stone says the likelihood that the Saudis tipped off the Enquirer or added to what it acquired from Michael Sanchez was “only a fog of overlapping events, weak ties between disparate figures and more strange coincidences.”
“For Bezos and his advisors, though, who were still trying to positively spin the embarrassing events surrounding his divorce, such a cloud of uncertainty was at the very least distracting from the more unsavory and complicated truth.”
Meanwhile, Stone writes, the notorious penis picture wasn’t among the many pictures that Michael Sanchez handed over to the Enquirer — though he did show it throughout a Nov. 21, 2018, assembly with reporter Andrea Simpson after claiming he had an express selfie that Bezos despatched to Sanchez’s sister.
With then-AMI chief content material officer Dylan Howard and editor James Robertson “watching via FaceTime from New York and recording the transaction, Sanchez didn’t show them a picture of Bezos at all but an anonymous photograph of male genitalia that he had captured from the gay escort Web site Rent.men,” in line with the e-book.
An Amazon spokesman declined to remark and de Becker didn’t return an e-mail to his eponymous, Glendale, Calif.-based safety agency.
Michael Sanchez declined to remark and an electronic mail to A360 Media — which subsumed AMI in a deal final 12 months — wasn’t returned.
A spokesperson for Howard mentioned, “The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has advised all parties that it has completed its investigation of allegations made by Jeff Bezos in February 2019, and has declined to prosecute the matter.”
“We are glad that the Government decided that Mr. Bezos’s allegations of blackmail and extortion against personnel at The National Enquirer did not merit prosecution, as we had believed it would all along,” the spokesperson added.
Additional reporting by Rebecca Rosenberg