[SEATTLE] Amazon.com Inc chief executive Officer Jeff Bezos accused the National Enquirer and its owner David Pecker of extortion and blackmail.
The magazine published an expose of Mr Bezos' alleged relationship with TV personality Lauren Sanchez, and Mr Bezos has hired investigators to find out if the story was politically motivated. He owns the Washington Post, which has written critical stories about President Donald Trump, who counts Mr Pecker as a close ally.
On Thursday, Mr Bezos said that the National Enquirer threatened to publish more details and revealing photos if the executive didn't stop the probe. A spokesman for American Media Inc, publisher of the National Enquirer, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The magazine investigated Mr Bezos because his wealth and position made him a newsworthy subject, according an email from a lawyer for AMI that Mr Bezos published on Thursday.
"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Mr Bezos wrote in a post on Medium.
"Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there's a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can't stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"