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In a lengthy blog post published on Thursday, Mr Bezos made several claims about the National Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc (AMI).

Mr Bezos' online post details a stunning and freakish clash between the world's richest man and the nation's biggest tabloid publisher.

Mr Bezos and his wife announced last month that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage, following a period of "loving exploration" and trial separation.

A few weeks ago the National Enquirer revealed to the world that Jeff Bezos was having an extramarital affair when it published intimate texts between Bezos and his girlfriend.

Soon after, Bezos initiated an investigation "to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer", he wrote in the Medium post.

For dramatic purposes, it can't end any other way except with Bezos producing evidence that Trump himself put the Enquirer up to digging up dirt on him, as revenge for the Washington Post's negative coverage of POTUS.

With the blog, Bezos says he's getting ahead of the story and exposing the "extortionate proposal" of AMI and its chief, the appropriately named Gavin Pecker. In exchange for a promise to not publish embarrassing photos obtained from his text messages, AMI's general counsel Jon Fine asked for Bezos and his lawyer for a statement "affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces".

AMI has not yet responded to the BBC's request for comment. "If in my position I cannot stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?" Howard ends his email by saying, "It would give no editor pleasure to send this email".

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"Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words", Mr Bezos wrote of releasing the e-mails. In 2015, Bezos offered to blast Trump into space, but has mostly avoided mentioning Trump publicly - until Thursday. No specific allegation is made, just a reminder that the Enquirer played a role in the Stormy Daniels saga and that POTUS considers Bezos a political enemy by dint of his ownership of the Post.

In addition to the "below the belt selfie - otherwise colloquially known as a "d*ck pick" - The Enquirer obtained a further nine images.

Bezos says he's posting this "despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten", because of the nature of the blackmail threatened against him.

Bezos usually stays out of the public eye, frequently delegating announcements and public Amazon business updates to his executives.

· Ms. Sanchez response - a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene. His private investigators have concluded that Bezos' phone wasn't hacked.

· A naked selfie in a bathroom - while wearing his wedding ring. "I hope common sense can prevail - and quickly".

Bezos alleges that Pecker and his crew are threatening to post the nudes because of an investigation by the Washington Post - which Bezos owns - into whether Pecker has been using his tabloids, including the Enquirer, for political ends.