Enquirer owner American Media maintained in a statement that Michael Sanchez provided “all materials,” and rejected longstanding assertions that Saudi Arabia was involved. Michael himself wouldn’t answer questions and instead accused the WSJ of “spoon-fed lies and half-truths,” while Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied involvement.
While exposing the alleged blackmail, Bezos provided emails showing that American Media had threatened to release his lewd selfies if he didn’t publicly state that the Enquirer‘s exposé was not politically motivated. The Amazon exec has raised concerns that Saudi Arabia wants to punish him and the Washington Post for linking the kingdom to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
This doesn’t rule out the possibility that Saudi Arabia hacked Bezos’ phone, as a Bezos-commissioned audit suggested. There may have been a multi-pronged effort to get Bezos’ data and provide details of his affair with Lauren Sanchez. However, it does raise the possibility that at least some of the information was obtained without hacks, and that Bezos’ findings don’t tell the whole story.