Bezos flags ‘Saudi angle’ in AMI extortion bid
Washington, Feb. 9: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' accusation of a US gossip magazine trying to blackmail him has stunned the Americans.
He also mentioned the close ties between National Enquirer's publisher, David Pecker, and President Donald Trump.
Besides, he flagged the link between the New York tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc, and Saudi Arabia.
While Saudi's junior foreign minister Adel alJubeir denied any connection, Mr Bezos, in his post on online publishing platform Medium said the link was not yet fully understood. The trigger was his decision to hire a reputed investigator to find out how the Enquirer obtained texts to his girlfriend and published – and to determine why the paper and Pecker, the AMI chairman, had made him a target.
“Several days ago, an AMI leader advised us that Mr Pecker is 'apoplectic' about our investigation," he wrote. "For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve."
On Friday, al-Jubeir likened the allegations to "a soap opera."
He provided a link to an Associated Press story about AMI's publication of a glossy magazine celebrating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the US last year.
AMI denied Saudi links or funding for the Salman issue, but reports said three weeks before his arrival, the media company sent a copy to the Saudi embassy for internal circulation.