Mr Bezos, who is worth $150 billion (£115 billion), said that he was told by representatives of David Pecker, chairman of American Media Inc (AMI), owner of the Enquirer, to stop his investigation or else the publisher would print a series of explicit photographs of Mr Bezos, 55, and Ms Sánchez, 49. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment other than to confirm that Bezos wrote the post.
According to the e-mails, an attorney for AMI offered a formal deal Wednesday: The tabloid wouldn't post the photos if Mr. Bezos and his investigators would release a public statement "affirming that they have no knowledge or basis" to suggest the Enquirer's coverage was "politically motivated or influenced by political forces".
".In the interests of expediating [sic] this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer's initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering", Howard wrote.
Bezos included an email from Howard to de Becker's lawyer. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".
The Amazon boss didn't try to hide the potential for embarrassment, writing "of course I don't want personal photos published" and noting what he called "AMI's long-earned reputation for weaponising journalistic privileges". Last April, Farrow published a story in the New Yorker about the Enquirer's "catch and kill" practice - in which stories are buried by paying off sources - that benefited Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In a Medium post published on Thursday, Bezos refers to statements Amazon's personal security consultant Gavin de Becker made to the press stating that "strong leads point to political motives" in the releasing of Bezos' texts to the Enquirer.More news: Grizzlies trade Marc Gasol to Toronto
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Bezos says doing that would constitute lying, which suggests that Bezos's investigation has found something concrete.
De Becker and his team suspect Michael Sanchez, a talent manager who touts his support of Trump and is an acquaintance of Trump allies Roger Stone and Carter Page, may have provided the information to the Enquirer, the person said. The law defines extortion as, among other things, obtaining something of value through fear, and AMI's very explicit threat to publish the embarrassing pictures unless Bezos complies, fits that description, according to Elsea. (AMI) on Thursday evening in an extraordinary Medium post under the title, "No thank you, Mr. Pecker", a reference to David Pecker, AMI's owner.
AMI has not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment.
He added: "Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've made a decision to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", Mr Bezos wrote in the post, which was entitled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" and included copies of emails from AMI.
AMI's agreement to co-operate with federal authorities means it will not face criminal charges over the payments, Manhattan prosecutors announced in December. President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets.
Mr Bezos, his newspaper and Amazon are all regular targets of Mr Trump's signature Twitter tirades. Or at least that's what the top people at the National Enquirer thought.