Published: Tue, February 04, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Lauren Sanchez's brother sues Bezos for defamation over leaking claim

Lauren Sanchez's brother sues Bezos for defamation over leaking claim

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is being sued for defamation by Michael Sanchez, the brother of his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday in a state court in Los Angeles, comes in connection with a 2019 National Enquirer expose that implied, based on obtained compromising material, including saucy texts, Jeff Bezos had started an affair with his current girlfriend Lauren Sanchez while still being married to his ex, novelist and anti-bullying activist MacKenzie Bezos. Among its other claims, Sanchez's suit says Lauren Sanchez and Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the world's richest man, kept their affair secret on the advice of a psychic.

Bezos filed a response to the suit on Monday calling Sanchez's claims baseless and said the suit amounted to an attempt to chill Bezos' ability to exercise his right of free speech, Bloomberg said.

In the lawsuit, Michael says Bezos and de Becker were "scapegoating" him and "alienating him from his family and professional colleagues".

Amazon was not immediately available for a comment. He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer - a deep and unforgivable betrayal. A lawyer for Bezos, William Isaacson, said his client "has chosen to address this lawsuit in court and we will do that soon". Bezos was yet to issue a statement on the lawsuit against him.

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Past year in February, Bezos in a blog post had indicated that The Enquirer got info to do the story after his phone was hacked by Saudi Arabia. Bezos also cited the wooing of Crown Prince Mohammed by David J. Pecker, the chief executive of American Media, the publisher of The Enquirer, who was seeking Saudi investment in the company. Last month, a security report commissioned by Bezos became public. Khashoggi was killed in October 2018 - five months after the alleged "hacking" of Bezos' phone. However, the report doesn't connect the Saudis to the photos leaked to the Enquirer. He says he was subjected to an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid at his house in full view of the neighbors, he's received backlash from friends and business associates. De Becker said his investigation identified Michael Sanchez as a paid source of the Enquirer.

The lawsuit does not specify whether Michael Sanchez provided text messages or photos to American Media, the parent company of the Enquirer, for its 2019 article about Bezos's affair.

De Becker is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

At the time the Bezos story was published, AMI was already operating under a non-prosecution agreement with the Manhattan US attorney's office, after admitting its role in hush-money payments made to women who allegedly had affairs with President Donald Trump.

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