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National Enquirer paid $200,000 for Bezos texts: report

The Hill logo The Hill 3/19/2019 Michael Burke

Jeff Bezos wearing a suit and tie: National Enquirer paid $200,000 for Bezos texts: report © Getty Images National Enquirer paid $200,000 for Bezos texts: report The National Enquirer reportedly paid $200,000 for revealing text messages between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his then-secret girlfriend.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Monday that Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos's girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, sold the text messages to the Enquirer for $200,000.

Sanchez told the Journal that he didn't want to "dignify" the newspaper's reporting on his deal with the Enquirer and called the reporting "old rumors," according to the Journal.

CNN and The Daily Beast previously reported in February that Sanchez was the one who leaked the text messages to the Enquirer. According to the Journal, Sanchez has long been a source for the Enquirer and is a supporter of President Trump, who has often lashed out at Bezos.

The Enquirer published a story in January that included the text messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. Bezos was married at the time the texts were sent.

In February, Bezos accused the Enquirer and its parent company, American Media, of attempting to blackmail him over the revealing text messages prior to publishing the story. American Media denied the allegations.

Bezos wrote in a Medium post that the Enquirer offered to not publish the messages if Bezos stated publicly that the tabloid's previous reporting on him wasn't politically motivated. He said he refused to do so.

"Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption," he wrote in the post. "I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out."

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