Saudi Arabia had access to Jeff Bezos’ phone and acquired his personal data and photos, Gavin de Becker, a security consultant for Amazon.com Inc.’s founder and chief executive officer, wrote in the Daily Beast.
The security consultant’s investigation “concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’s phone, and gained his private information,” De Becker alleged in the column. It’s unclear to what degree American Media Inc. was aware of the details, he wrote. Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, has accused the publisher of the National Enquirer of trying to blackmail him.
The investigation “studied the well-documented and close relationship” between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and AMI Chairman David Pecker, De Becker said. The “Saudi government has been very intent on harming Jeff Bezos” over the Post’s coverage of the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, he alleged in the Daily Beast.
In a blog post on Feb. 7, Bezos alleged that American Media threatened to publish embarrassing photos of himself and a woman who wasn’t his wife. It was the Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid, that, on its front page in January, said Bezos had been “caught cheating on his wife of 25 years with the spouse of a Hollywood mogul!” -- a former TV anchor named Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos wrote in his blog post that the Post’s “unrelenting coverage” of the murder of its columnist is “undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.” Khashoggi, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was a leading critic of the country’s ruling crown prince, whom Trump regards as an important ally. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by people close to the crown prince and U.S. lawmakers say intelligence indicates that the crown prince was involved in the murder.
In February, Bezos enlisted celebrity lawyer Marty Singer, who has made a name for himself by scaring the tabloids away from his clients, to take on the National Enquirer over its threat to publish personal photos.