Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will now fight a family battle as Michael Sanchez, brother of his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, has filed a lawsuit against him, alleging that the world's richest man defamed him by saying that he leaked intimate photos and texts to the National Enquirer.
In January 2019, the National Enquirer exposed Jeff Bezos' extramarital affair with Lauren Sanchez, including text messages between them.
In the lawsuit, Michael Sanchez claimed he suffered substantial harm as a result of Jeff Bezos' allegations, including an FBI raid at his residence in front of neighbours.
The lawsuit said he was a "dutiful brother and manager" to her at the time of the leak. Bezos was yet to issue a statement on the lawsuit against him.
Last week, it was reported that Michael Sanchez received a $200,000 payment from the National Enquirer for leaking intimate images and text.
Lauren Sanchez, however, described her brother's lawsuit against Jeff Bezos as "baseless and untrue".
Her brother has denied his role in the leak, saying he is suing Jeff Bezos for unspecified damages "in an amount appropriate to punish and make an example of defendants".
Last week, in a further twist to Bezos' phone saga, The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Sanchez reportedly sold photos to the National Enquirer, which then published a controversial story about Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos' affair early last year.
"Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have evidence indicating Jeff Bezos' girlfriend provided text messages to her brother that he then sold to the National Enquirer for its article about the Amazon.com Inc. founder's affair, according to people familiar with the matter," the WSJ reported.
Jeff Bezos in February last year accused the publisher of National Enquirer, an American tabloid published by American Media Inc (AMI), of "blackmail" and "extortion".
Jeff Bezos' affair returned to news when The Guardian reported that it was "highly probable" that Saudi Arabia hacked Bezos' phone in May 2018, which the Saudi government has denied.