Jeff Bezos sued for defamation by his girlfriend's brother

Jeff Bezos sued for defamation by his girlfriend's brother
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Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Coronavirus deal includes funds for mail-in voting | Twitter pulled into fight over virus disinformation | State AGs target price gouging | Apple to donate 10M masks On The Money: Last-minute complaints threaten T stimulus | What to know about business loans, relief checks in deal | Economists fear downturn will be worse than Great Recession State AGs urge Bezos to expand sick leave for Amazon, Whole Foods employees MORE has been sued by Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos’s girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, over a National Enquirer story about Bezos’s extramarital affair.

The lawsuit, filed last week in state court in Los Angeles, accuses Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, of defamation by falsely telling journalists that Michael Sanchez leaked photos of Bezos to the tabloid, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The suit also alleged that Bezos and Lauren Sanchez kept their affair a secret on the advice of a psychic.

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Bezos’s attorney William Isaacson told The Hill that his client “has chosen to address this lawsuit in court and we will do that soon.”

Lauren Sanchez, in a statement provided by her lawyer, Terry Bird, said: “Michael is my older brother. He secretly provided my most personal information to The National Enquirer — a deep and unforgivable betrayal. My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace.”

De Becker declined to comment to The Hill.

American Media, the tabloid’s parent company, called Michael Sanchez the “single source” for its 2019 article about Bezos, and an October 2018 contract reviewed by the Times granted American Media rights to publish communications documenting the affair.

The lawsuit does not address whether Michael Sanchez provided text messages or photographs.

Bezos and his now-former wife announced their divorce last year.

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While the lawsuit includes claims that Bezos and de Becker accused Michael Sanchez of providing “graphic, nude photographs” of Bezos to the tabloid, the two men have not publicly alleged that he leaked the photos, according to the Times.

Bezos has implied the tabloid obtained the materials through Saudi Arabia's hacking of his personal phone. Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, suggested that Saudi Arabia was upset about the newspaper's coverage of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

The Saudi government has denied any involvement in the National Enquirer story, according to the Times.

Updated at 1:58 p.m.