Jeff Bezos accused his girlfriend's brother of 'extortion' in an escalating legal battle over nude photos leaked to the National Enquirer
Jeff Bezos in a court filing on Monday accused Michael Sanchez, the brother of his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, of extortion. According to the Daily Beast, which reviewed the filing made in California, Bezos and his legal team claim that Sanchez is "leveraging the current media environment to harass" Bezos and his own sister for financial gain. The motion follows a defamation lawsuit from Sanchez on Friday in which he claimed that Bezos falsely told journalists that Sanchez provided Bezos' nude photos to the National Enquirer. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Jeff Bezos in a court filing on Monday accused Michael Sanchez, the brother of his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, of extorting him via a defamation suit dealing with leaked nude photos of Bezos sent to the National Inquirer. It is an escalation of a legal battle which centers on who sent the pictures to the outlet. Sanchez says that Bezos defamed him by blaming the leak on him. Bezos says that accusation is itself attempted extortion. According to the Daily Beast, which reviewed the filing made in California, Bezos and his legal team say that Sanchez is abusing the legal system to lure the tech billionaire into an expensive dispute. "Extortion rears its head again in this lawsuit, this time not only aimed at Defendants but also directly threatening speech protected under the First Amendment," William Isaacson, Bezos' attorney, wrote in the filing, according to the Beast. According to the Beast, Bezos' motion seeks to dismiss Sanchez' lawsuit under a California law, which takes action against frivolous lawsuits, referred to as "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation," or SLAPP. The motion follows a defamation lawsuit brought by Sanchez on Friday in which he made accusations of Bezos and a security consultant hired to investigate Bezos' phone after it was allegedly hacked. That filing said Bezos falsely told journalists that Sanchez provided nude photos of Bezos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez maintains that he was not the source of the photos. Bezos' team began investigating his phone in January 2019 after the Enquirer published a story about him having an affair. He and his then-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, announced their divorce not long after. After the Enquirer story was published, Bezos accused the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., of blackmailing him by threatening to publish his nude images. In his filing, Isaacson, the Bezos lawyer, wrote that: "By filing this lawsuit, Mr. Sanchez hopes to put himself back on the front pages and extract money from Defendants by leveraging the current media environment to harass them." Last month, The New York Times reported that intimate messages between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez came into the possession of the National Enquirer tabloid via her brother. According to the newspaper, Sanchez sent the messages, including photos, to her brother, Michael, who received $200,000 upon signing a contract granting the Enquirer's parent company exclusive rights to them. The Enquirer has maintained that its source of the messages was Michael Sanchez, but Bezos hired a private investigator, Gavin de Becker, to dig deeper. In exchanges with Business Insider last year, Michael Sanchez repeatedly denied sharing "penis photos" with AMI but evaded answering questions about whether he had leaked messages obtained by the National Enquirer.SEE ALSO: WhatsApp disclosed 12 security flaws last year, including 7 classified as 'critical,' after Jeff Bezos phone was reportedly hacked Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 62 new emoji and emoji variations were just finalized, including a bubble tea emoji and a transgender flag. Here's how everyday people submit their own emoji.
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Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday. Jeff Bezos' girlfriend's...Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday. Jeff Bezos' girlfriend's brother is suing the Amazon CEO for defamation, claiming he was falsely accused of providing incriminating photos to the National Enquirer. Michael Sanchez says he never possessed Bezos' intimate photos, contradicting a New York Times report that found evidence that Lauren Sanchez sent leaked texts and photos to her brother. Apple shut down all stores and corporate offices in China amid the continued Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Apple, which earns about a quarter of its operating income in China, said it will keep its online store open during the shutdown. Uber suspended 240 user accounts in Mexico after they rode with drivers believed to have come into contact with the coronavirus, Bloomberg reports. There have not yet been any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mexico. Facebook shelled out $11.2 million to run its first Super Bowl commercial. The company's CMO and ad agency Wieden and Kennedy told Business Insider how it came about. Mark Zuckerberg said during an interview on Friday that if he were starting a company today, he wouldn't do it in Silicon Valley. "There's a lot of advantages to building a company that is not in such a monoculture," said Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg also said he's become "more religious" after becoming a father and going through recent struggles with the company. "The last few years have been really humbling for me," said Zuckerberg. Airbnb quietly acquired cloud storage startup Minbox in 2016. The previously unreported purchase was one of several quiet acquisitions by Airbnb in 2016. WeWork named former Brookfield executive Sandeep Mathrani as CEO. Mathrani will replace Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, who have served as co-CEOs since the company's founder Adam Neumann was ousted in 2019. Twitter gave a state university access to a student's parody account after it complained that he was mocking the school. Twitter told Business Insider it made a "mistake," and that "the school should not have been provided access to this account." Amazon Web Services attacked a Microsoft-commissioned study claiming that its Azure cloud is faster and cheaper. Microsoft has made similar claims before, with an exec recently claiming that its Azure cloud was 5 times cheaper than AWS in certain situations. Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings. You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick "10 Things in Tech You Need to Know.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Apple just revealed its AirPods Pro for $249, which feature noise cancellation. Here's everything that was wrong with the $159 pair of the wireless headphones.
The Amazon founder’s investigation did not find evidence to back his suggestion of a link between...The Amazon founder’s investigation did not find evidence to back his suggestion of a link between Saudi Arabia and the tabloid that gleefully exposed his affair.