Lauren Sanchez's brother sold Jeff Bezos' racy texts to Enquirer for $200K

american media inc., david pecker, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez, national enquirer

The photo deal sparked a feud between Bezos and the tabloid. AP / Cliff Owen

The brother of Jeff Bezos’ former mistress sold the billionaire’s risqué text messages and selfies to the Enquirer for hundreds of thousands of dollars to reveal their affair in 2019, according to a report Wednesday.

Michael Sanchez, the brother of the Amazon honcho’s lover — former Fox News Anchor Lauren Sanchez — was paid $200,000 by the publication’s parent company American Media LLC for the texts and images, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

A talent agent who has managed television pundits, Michael had been a source for the Enquirer and its top editor, Dylan Howard, for years before selling the photos, according to the Journal.

Unlike most sources, who are paid by the firm for photos upon publication, the contract with Sanchez required that he be paid upfront, regardless of whether any story ran, the paper reported.

The firm’s general council also added an unusual provision into the Oct. 26 contract with Michael to make it clear the deal wasn’t a “catch and kill” to prevent the information from being revealed, according to the Journal.

american media inc., david pecker, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez, national enquirer

Michael Sanchez is the brother of Bezos’ girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Michael Sanchez

american media inc., david pecker, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez, national enquirer

The National Enquirer paid Michael Sanchez more than a typical payout while the company was financially strained.

The Enquirer

american media inc., david pecker, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez, national enquirer

The New York Post ran a front-page story on Feb. 8, 2019 about feud between Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer.

Getty Images / Stephanie Keith

Publisher David Pecker approved the $200,000 deal — higher than the company normally pays sources — at a time when the company was strained financially, according to the paper. 

The deal sparked a feud between the tabloid and the world’s richest man — along with internal fights at American Media, the paper reported.

In one case, Pecker and the firm’s general counsel had a blow-up over the unusual contract before the Enquirer published the story in January 2019, when Bezos was still married to MacKenzie Scott, the paper reported.

Before the story ran, the Enquirer asked Bezos for comment on Jan. 7, prompting him to announce two days later that he and Scott were divorcing after more than two decades of marriage.

When the story ran, the print edition proclaimed, “BEZOS’ DIVORCE! THE CHEATING PHOTOS THAT ENDED HIS MARRIAGE” and featured pictures of Bezos and Lauren Sanchez together with steamy text message quotes.

american media inc., david pecker, jeff bezos, lauren sanchez, national enquirer

David Pecker was sought by Bezos for blackmail and defamation following the publication regarding his divorce.

AP / Marion Curtis

Bezos soon accused Pecker of blackmail and politically motivated extortion.

Asked for comment this week, Sanchez said he didn’t want to “dignify” the Journal’s reporting on the contract and denied sending “the many penis selfies.” But he declined to say whether he sold other photos of Bezos to the Enquirer.

A spokesman for Bezos declined to comment and Lauren Sanchez didn’t respond to the paper’s requests for comment.

In May, Bezos pushed an unfounded theory that Saudi Arabia was behind the revelation of his affair.

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