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A spokesman and an attorney for AMI did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

On Thursday, the 55-year-old penned an essay on Medium with claims about the company's alleged plan to publish what they allegedly referred to as his "d*ck picks", along with other scandalous shots of Bezos and Sanchez. The Enquirer and other outlets identified the woman as Lauren Sanchez, a former anchor for Fox's local station in Los Angeles. Pictures' "Argo" held at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 4, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

Mr Bezos's wealth now is valued at US$133.9 billion (S$181.6 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In return for such an acknowledgement, according to the email, AMI offered "not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos".

"I engaged investigators to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer", Bezos said.

In a surprising move on Thursday, Bezos said the National Enquirer threatened to publish more details and revealing photos if the executive didn't stop the probe.

"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've chose to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", Bezos added.

A long-simmering feud between Mr Donald Trump and Mr Jeff Bezos took a freakish turn after the multi-billionaire accused allies of the United States President of brazenly trying to extort him. The executive also said the Post's coverage of Mr Jamal Khashoggi's murder - a columnist for the newspaper who was killed in Istanbul past year - "is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles".

Bezos said he was at first verbally approached by AMI representatives threatening to release further photos and text messages unless he would drop his investigation. The story carries the bylines of Howard and two reporters.

In its January 9 story, the Enquirer reported that Mr. Bezos sent "sleazy text messages and gushing love notes" to Ms. Sanchez, months before Mr. Bezos announced he was splitting up with his wife, MacKenzie. Bezos, one of the world's richest men, made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019.

Bezos called the exchanges an "extortionate proposal". Stay tuned for updates.

Since then, Mr Bezos opened an investigation into the leak led by Gavin de Becker, a public safety expert and special appointee of former USA president Ronald Reagan.

Fine was known to attend events at Seattle's Hugo House and was responsible for doling out Amazon donations to literary arts groups, according to a person familiar with the local scene.

In December, AMI told prosecutors it coordinated with Trump's presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money. "In a tweet, he said de Becker "spreads fake, unhinged conservative conspiracy theories" and "'dog whistle' smears". Remember that "safe" that AMI allegedly has, or had, of Trump material? In the next sentence, Bezos describes the non-prosecution agreement struck in September between AMI and the Justice Department. In response, he hired consultant Gavin de Becker to figure out how they obtained those text messages. The deal not to prosecute was conditional on AMI not committing another crime, the office said.

Sounds like soon some people at The National Enquirer are going to "learn to code".