By going public with alleged extortion attempts, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may have thwarted the National Enquirer’s attempts to quash the Washington Post’s probe into the tabloid media company’s practices, but the incident also turned a harsh spotlight on unethical, potentially illegal acts and ratcheted up concerns about privacy.

In a Thursday blog post, Bezos revealed that “the top people at the National Enquirer” had made him an offer that he indeed could refuse: stop looking into the questionable practices of the tabloid and its parent company American Media, Inc. (AMI) after the Enquirer published some of Bezos’s personal texts.  

They said “they will publish the personal photos unless [investigator and security specialist] Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we ‘have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AMI’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces,’” Bezos wrote, noting that AMI had already struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department “related to their role in the so-called ‘Catch and Kill’ process on behalf of President Trump and his election campaign” and is the subject of the investigations “for various actions they’ve taken on behalf of the Saudi government.”

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