Howard Kurtz, Jeff Bezos are posing for a picture© Offered by Fox Information Community LLC

Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend has privately acknowledged that she shared some photographs and texts from the Amazon founder with a number of feminine buddies, including to the thriller of who leaked salacious materials to the Nationwide Enquirer, based on a supply near the couple.

As well as, the girlfriend, tv character Lauren Sanchez, additionally had the contents of her laptop downloaded onto her assistant’s laptop for safekeeping, based on the supply.

What’s extra, investigators for Bezos are conscious that Sanchez shared the photographs and texts as a result of, together with her cooperation, they have been capable of hint the fabric within the cloud, the place most laptop and cellphone messages and pictures are saved.

It couldn’t be decided whether or not any of the fabric that Sanchez shared with buddies was sexually express. Nevertheless it casts the probe in a brand new gentle at a time when Bezos, who owns The Washington Put up, is accusing the Enquirer’s father or mother firm of attempting to blackmail him over still-unpublished nude photographs and intimate texts.

The agency, American Media Inc., owned by President Trump’s pal David Pecker, has insisted that it obtained the Bezos texts and footage lawfully.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Pecker’s lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, whereas saying there was “completely” no blackmail or extortion, described the leaker as a person, “anyone near each Bezos and Miss Sanchez,” who has supplied info to the Enquirer for seven years. Abramowitz refused to say whether or not he was speaking about Michael Sanchez, Lauren’s brother, who has drawn scrutiny within the case.

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The Every day Beast quoted “a number of sources inside AMI” as saying that Michael Sanchez supplied the Bezos texts to the Enquirer.

Requested for remark, Sanchez instructed me: “A number of potential suspects within the leaks have been investigated. Of all these attainable suspects, I am the one one who by no means had entry to below-the-belt selfies. So any try and implicate me in that is 100 p.c false.”

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The supply stated Lauren Sanchez additionally shared a number of innocuous Bezos texts and footage together with her brother, together with a shot of the couple posing on a mountaintop, out of a way of affection and delight. Investigators didn’t ask to look at Michael Sanchez’s laptop or cellphone.

Gavin de Becker, the outstanding safety advisor who’s overseeing the probe for Bezos, declined to remark.

De Becker has interviewed Michael Sanchez as a part of the leak probe, and for that cause has dismissed Sanchez’s disparaging feedback about him. Bezos has known as de Becker “one of many smartest and most succesful leaders I do know.”

Sanchez himself instructed Bezos and his sister when the story broke that he must be investigated due to his proximity to the couple. He particularly assured them that he’s not the leaker.

Michael Sanchez, a Hollywood expertise supervisor, has tried, with little success, to play a peacemaking position. Days earlier than the Enquirer revealed the story about Bezos’ affair, the tabloid despatched Sanchez a letter — with 44 bullet factors — requesting remark.

Michael Sanchez deliberate to fly to New York to seek out out what proof the tabloid had and attempt to soften the story whereas mentioning factual errors. He made preparations to sit down down with Dylan Howard, a longtime pal who’s the tabloid firm’s high information government. Sanchez saved in communication with the couple and de Becker about his middleman position and deliberate a convention name with them as soon as he was briefed on the small print of the pending Enquirer story.

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However Bezos determined to preempt the story by tweeting about his deliberate divorce from his spouse, McKenzie. At that time, AMI executives refused to satisfy with Sanchez and shortly revealed the piece.

Nonetheless, Michael Sanchez saved attempting to dealer a cease-fire. He organized a photograph op with Lauren Sanchez as she went to a Santa Monica airport and acquired on a helicopter, with AMI’s Us Weekly working the “unique” footage underneath the headline “All Smiles: First Pictures Present Jeff Bezos’ Girlfriend Lauren Sanchez Carefree After Scandal.”

However that restricted cooperation imploded late final week when Bezos accused AMI of attempting to blackmail him, posting an organization e mail suggesting that his nude selfies may very well be revealed except he stopped accusing the Enquirer of a politically motivated hit job.

The behind-the-scenes battle activates basic questions on Bezos’ technique. Is he a journalistic hero, praised by Bob Woodward, taking a courageous stand in opposition to horrible tabloid ways? Or, as Michael Sanchez has argued, has Bezos infected the state of affairs and turned one embarrassing episode right into a nonstop nationwide cleaning soap opera?

Michael Sanchez is a Trump supporter, and his connections to Trump World figures caught up within the Robert Mueller probe have additionally come underneath scrutiny in gentle of the well-known acrimony between the president and Bezos.

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Sanchez has twice met Roger Stone, who has pleaded not responsible to felony prices, and Carter Web page as soon as by a minor enterprise deal. However he has been in contact with each males in regards to the leaks and whether or not they may need concerned hacking, based on digital correspondence.

The truth is, Michael Sanchez proposed that de Becker, and probably Bezos himself, sit down with Web page in a safe location to debate the safety points of the leak. De Becker appeared , however no assembly materialized. Sanchez instructed me that Bezos, his sister, and de Becker knew of each dialog he has had with Web page and Stone. The Washington Put up reported that each Web page and Stone have denied any involvement within the Bezos leak.

The stakes are sky-high for all sides. AMI is underneath an immunity cope with federal prosecutors after Pecker acknowledged his involvement in hush-money funds to Trump accusers, and any discovering of improper habits now might have authorized penalties.

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Lauren Sanchez, a former L.A. tv host, has been an leisure reporter, host of Fox’s “So You Suppose You Can Dance,” and runs a movie manufacturing firm. She is married to Patrick Whitesell, co-CEO of powerhouse expertise company William Morris Endeavor.

Bezos is just not solely going through private embarrassment, however his divorce might affect his Amazon fortune and maybe the corporate itself.

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