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

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

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

Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is once again embroiled in a controversy involving his family life with his brother-in-law filing a defamation lawsuit against him.

Michael Sanchez claims in the suit he was Lauren's "dutiful brother and manager" who was scapegoated when a private investigator and a federal authorities probed who leaked Bezos' private messages to the tabloid, TMZ reported.

The Enquirer story, published online on January 9, 2019, contained reproductions of text messages from Bezos to Lauren Sanchez.

The lawsuit was filed late on Friday (Jan 31) in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Michael Sanchez, the brother of Lauren Sanchez and subject of media reports that he was a source for the Enquirer's splashy report previous year revealing the affair between his sister and Bezos. De Becker declined to comment. A lawyer for Bezos, William Isaacson, said his client "has chosen to address this lawsuit in court and we will do that soon".

"He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer - a deep and unforgivable betrayal".

Lauren Sanchez, however, described her brother's lawsuit against Jeff Bezos as "baseless and untrue". Michael Sanchez's assertions contain apparent inconsistencies.

Last week, it was reported that Michael received a $200,000 payment from the National Enquirer for leaking intimate images and text.

In a blog post shortly after the Enquirer's story about the affair, Bezos accused the tabloid of extortion and blackmail in their handling of the story.

His consultant Becker linked the hack to The Washington Post's coverage of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Bezos' affair returned to news when The Guardian reported that it was "highly probable" that Saudi Arabia hacked Bezos' phone in May 2018, which the Saudi government has denied. Citing anonymous sources in the know of an worldwide probe into the matter, The Guardian reported the two (Bezos and Saudi Crown Prince) had exchanged friendly messages on WhatsApp. The analysis did not reveal a Saudi connection to the materials obtained by The Enquirer. American Media said in a statement last month that Michael Sanchez was the "single source" for the exposé.

"Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have evidence indicating Jeff Bezos' girlfriend provided text messages to her brother that he then sold to the National Enquirer for its article about the Amazon.com Inc. founder's affair, according to people familiar with the matter", the WSJ reported. In his blog post past year, Bezos quoted emails sent to de Becker's lawyer by an American Media lawyer and a company executive, who wrote that "the photos obtained during our news gathering" included a nude "below-the-belt selfie".