Michael Sanchez’s attorney told DailyMail.com via email that he neither served as the Enquirer’s source for the affair story
Lauren Sanchez’s brother has doubled down on his claim that he didn’t leak Jeff Bezos’ explicit selfie to the National Enquirer, days after it was claimed in court documents that it was his sister’s ex-husband who served as the Enquirer’s source for the affair story.
Michael Sanchez’s attorney told DailyMail.com via email that he neither served as the Enquirer’s source for the affair story, nor did he share any of the photos that backed it up.
The affair was revealed in January 2019 when both Bezos and Sanchez were still married.
They trailed the pair for months when they met up secretly, then splashed photos of them together across the magazine. It was an enormous scandal and contributed to the divorce of Bezos and his then-wife MacKenzie, which ended up being the most expensive divorce in history.
The Enquirer also, according to Bezos, got their hands on an explicit selfie he had sent Lauren, that they tried to use to blackmail him.
Who tipped the Enquirer off remains a source of contention.
Michael Sanchez has long insisted that he was not the source. In court documents, the Enquirer reporter who covered the story claimed that Patrick Whitesell – Lauren’s husband at the time – was one of the sources.
Patrick denied it, telling The Daily Beast that Michael was trying to shift the focus off of himself.
Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos in January 2020, a year after their affair was revealed by the Enquirer
Michael is suing AMI – American Media Inc, the company that owns the Enquirer – for claiming that he was the sole source.
In an email to DailyMail.com on Saturday, he insisted again that he wasn’t the only source, and said he did not give the Enquirer the shirtless selfie that Bezos sent Lauren.
Michael is suing AMI, the Enquirer’s publisher, for naming him as the sole source of the story
‘The AMI whistleblower confirmed what Michael Sanchez has always maintained—he was not AMI’s sole source, the story was already in the can before the Enquirer even reached out to him, and however AMI got its hands on the ‘below-the-belt selfie’ it used to try to blackmail Mr. Bezos, it did not come from Mr. Sanchez.
‘We look forward to reviewing the 10 terabytes of additional evidence in the possession of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office,’ he said.
In court documents, reporter Nikolaos Tzima Hatziefstathiou said that Whitesell was one of his sources.
‘Mr. Whitesell discovered the Affair, and by serving as AMA’s (then the name of the National Enquirer’s parent company) secret, undisclosed source, literally turned the divorce into a ”get out of divorce free’ card via a pre-divorce, in which he appears blameless and scandal-free, just months before WME’s planned initial public offering,’ he said.
Lauren was married to Hollywood mega agent Patrick Whitesell when she and Bezos started their affair. The three of them are pictured in 2016
Whitesell is now engaged to Australian actress Pia Miller. An Enquirer reporter claimed in court documents earlier this week that he tipped off the Enquirer because he wanted to get out of his marriage
Whitesell’s spokesman denied it.
‘This is categorically untrue, and unfortunately not the first time we have seen this desperate attempt from Michael Sanchez to perpetuate this odd and tiresome circus.
‘The fact that Patrick has been implicated in this bizarre series of lawsuits and incriminations is a direct result of the character of those involved and is completely disconnected from reality.
‘Any suggestion to the contrary is malicious and libelous,’ his spokesman said.
Hatziefstathiou has a questionable past of his own after being charged in 2019 with tampering with public records and forgery, among other charges.
Prosecutors accused him of posing as a Good Morning America producer and a New York Times reporter to obtain government documents.
He also reportedly sent dozens of prostitutes to his neighbor’s home and then reported a disturbance to the police.
Whitesell has moved on with Australian actress Pia Miller. They are now engaged.
Lauren and Bezos are not engaged but remain together. He is still the richest man in the world with a reported fortune of $177billion.