If he declined, AMI threatened to publish compromising photos of Bezos and Sanchez.
If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they'll publish the photos, and quickly. He posted an email from Dylan Howard, the chief content officer at AMI, which outlined in detail the photographs they allegedly have in their possession.
Instead of making a deal with AMI, Bezos made a decision to go public, writing: "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"
Bezos, who owns more than $120 billion in Amazon stock, continued, "If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, are getting divorced after 25 years of marriage.
Some of Bezos' text messages were made public last month.
This story is breaking and will be updated as more information comes in.
As far as why the outlet would go to such lengths, with threats to release "below the belt selfie", among other images, Bezos cited his lawyer's investigation into how National Enquirer obtained the texts, as well as Pecker's reported actions on behalf of President Donald Trump and on behalf of the Saudi Government.
AMI acknowledged secretly assisting Trump's campaign by paying $150,000 to a Playboy model for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with the then-candidate.
De Becker called the leak "politically motivated", and said that the main target of his inquiry was Sanchez's brother, Michael Sanchez.
Bezos mentioned this "catch and kill" arrangement for McDougal's story in his Medium post, which he titled, "No thank you, Mr. Pecker".
Several days ago, someone at AMI told Bezos' team that the company's CEO David Pecker was "apoplectic" about Bezos' investigation, Bezos said.
"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail", he wrote in a blog post on Medium, the executive published emails they sent proposing a "completely confidential" agreement.
In September, the Justice Department agreed to a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, which requires the company and some top executives, including CEO David Pecker and Mr. Howard, to co-operate with authorities.
A spokesman and an attorney for AMI did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. The deal not to prosecute was conditional on AMI not committing another crime, the office said. "For prosecutors, your worst nightmare is watching a cooperation deal unravel". I'm glad they thought that, because it emboldened them to put it all in writing. The White House also didn't respond to a request for comment.
The pictures that AMI claim to have includes dick pics sent by Jeff Bezos to his mistress, the TV presenter Lauren Sanchez.
AMI also demanded that he and de Becker publically state they had "no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces", Bezos said.
As our own dear leader expounded upon at length on his podcast, Bezos is a grown ass man going through a divorce. "Also, The Post's essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles".
The Bezos-Enquirer tussle may be another instance where the legal questions are eclipsed by a broader battle. Bezos commissioned de Becker - his longtime security consultant - to investigate how the material fell into the Enquirer's hands.
But as Bezos began to investigate the leak, the tabloid's parent disputed any suggestion that its story was politically motivated.