AMI defends ‘good faith negotiations’ with Jeff Bezos but will investigate blackmail allegation

It’s the morning after the night before for AMI.

And what a night it was. The company is officially in damage control mode after it released a short statement defending its communication and behavior with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who published evidence of blackmail that used leaked messages and nude photos of the billionaire that AMI had acquired.

AMI today defended its efforts. It claimed it had “acted lawfully” with its reporting of Bezos and that it engaged in “good faith negotiations” with him. Still, despite those claims, it said it has launched an investigation into the incident.

Here’s the statement:

American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.

The company, which owns the National Enquirer, among other media businesses, was accused of blackmail in an explosive essay that Bezos published on Thursday. In it, the Amazon CEO detailed AMI’s apparent offer of a “deal” that would see it drop the publishing of naked selfies of the billionaire, sent to his new partner, in exchange for The Washington Post — the newspaper he owns — walking back its investigation into AMI’s connections in Saudi Arabia and relationship with President Trump.

This battle isn’t going anyway any time soon — watch this space for more updates.