Jeff Bezos was sued for defamation by his girlfriend’s brother in a lawsuit accusing the Amazon.com Inc. chief executive officer of falsely claiming the brother provided lurid photographs to the National Enquirer.
The lawsuit was filed late Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Michael Sanchez, the brother of Lauren Sanchez and subject of media reports that he was a source for the Enquirer’s splashy report last year revealing the affair between his sister and Bezos.
The story has expanded into an international controversy, now involving allegations that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince participated in a hack of Bezos’ phone and an investigation by federal prosecutors in New York.
The lawsuit also names Gavin de Becker, a security consultant who works for Bezos, as a defendant. It accuses Bezos and de Becker of telling journalists that Michael Sanchez provided graphic nude photographs of the Amazon CEO to the tabloid.
In the filing, Michael Sanchez acknowledges he entered a confidential agreement to “cooperate strategically with American Media Inc., the National Enquirer’s parent company, but said he did so to “get ahead of the story in an effort to limit the backlash against his sister and Bezos.”