A judge in California dismissed the defamation lawsuit against Jeff Bezos filed by Michael Sanchez, the brother of the billionaire’s girlfriend.
Michael Sanchez accused Bezos and his security consultant Gavin de Becker of defaming him by falsely telling journalists that he was responsible for leaking nude graphic photos of the Amazon.com Inc. founder to the National Enquirer.
In January of last year, the National Enquirer made public the affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. Both were married at the time and remain an item to this day.
On Thursday, Judge John P. Doyle of the Los Angeles County Superior Court dismissed Michael Sanchez’s defamation suit against Jeff Bezos
On Thursday, Judge John P. Doyle of the Los Angeles County Superior Court said Sanchez’s allegations were relying heavily on hearsay based on what he was told by reporters, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Both Sanchez’s defamation claim and claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress were thrown out by the judge.
Michael claimed in his February suit that a security consultant hired by the billionaire spread false statements about the nature in which the affair was exposed to the public. He also claimed that reps for Bezos told several news outlets that Michael Sanchez provided the photos to the press.
In January of last year, the National Enquirer made public the affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez. Michael Sanchez’s suit claimed Bezos told reporters that he was responsible for the leak
In Michael’s version of events, Federal investigators found he had no case to answer. ‘Once the FBI and Amazon’s own investigators cleared me of ever possessing the pictures used to blackmail Jeff, I thought I’d get a private apology, at a minimum. But Jeff and Lauren haven’t looked back,’ he said. ‘I’ve been thrown under the bus. Sadly, it’s likely the next time I see them will be in court.
American Media Inc., the National Enquirers publisher at the time, put out a public statement saying that it was Sanchez – a talent agent – who tupped them off to the affair and ‘provided all the materials’ for the investigation.
Sanchez claimed in his lawsuit that he helped the story in an effort to control the narrative about his sister’s relationship. He also denied sharing the ‘graphic, nude photos’ to the National Enquirer.
Bezos said in court filings that he never accused his girlfriend’s brother of leaking the nude photos.
Both Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were married at the time of their affair. They continue to see each other
While Lauren Sanchez did not release a statement for the trial, her lawyer previously said in a statement that Michael had committed a ‘deep and unforgivable betrayal’ by giving her information to the tabloid
A lawyer for Michael Sanchez, Tom Warren, shared that an appeal will be filed for the decision.
‘We respectfully disagree with the trial court’s ruling and look forward to vindicating Mr. Sanchez’s claims on appeal,’ he said.
While Lauren Sanchez did not release a statement for the trial, her lawyer previously said in a statement that Michael had committed a ‘deep and unforgivable betrayal’ by giving her information to the tabloid.
William Isaacson, representing the billionaire, called the case ‘baseless.’
‘When it comes to frivolous lawsuits seeking money or attention, the law is clear—and the law worked,’ Isaacson said. ‘Journalists will surely take the court’s ruling into account when considering Michael Sanchez as a source.’