Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos is being sued for defamation by the brother of his girlfriend who accuses him of spreading false rumours.
Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother, has filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Superior Court against Bezos and his security chief Gavin de Becker.
Sanchez is seeking unspecified damages from Bezos, accusing him of spreading false rumours about him leaking nude photos to the National Enquirer.
His sister said in a statement provided by her lawyer Terry Bird: “Michael is my older brother. He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer — a deep and unforgivable betrayal.
“My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace.”
Bezos lawyer William Isaacson told CNBC: “My client has chosen to address this lawsuit in court and we will do that soon.”
This comes after the National Enquirer published intimate texts and photos of Bezos which he had sent to his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.
He subsequently asked De Becker to determine how the publication, owned by AMI, attained the information.
A spokesperson for AMI previously stated that Michael Sanchez was its source for the story, while a report from The Wall Street Journal stated that he had received $200,000 for the right to use the photos and text messages.
Sanchez said he “never had possession of the graphic photographs in question”, but admits he signed a nondisclosure agreement with AMI to “cooperate strategically” to “get ahead ahead of the story”.
Last month the Saudi government was directly implicated in the scandal, with its crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman accused of directly targeting Bezos phone.
According to The Guardian, the results of a digital forensic analysis commissioned by Bezos suggest it is “highly probable” a video message sent from the WhatsApp account used by the prince was infected and led to Bezos phone being hacked.