The owner of the National Enquirer said on Wednesday it was considering selling the tabloid, which has admitted to paying hush money to help U.S. President Donald Trump get elected and been accused of attempting to blackmail Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The company said in a statement that it has chose to "explore strategic options for its National Enquirer (US and United Kingdom editions), Globe and National Examiner brands, which will likely result in their sale in the near future".
Bezos, the world's richest man, has said the Enquirer threatened to publish explicit photographs of him unless he publicly declared that the tabloid's coverage of him was not politically motivated and stopped investigating how it obtained private texts between Bezos and his mistress, former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Messages were sent to AMI seeking comment Thursday.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that America Media Inc. was looking to unload its beleaguered tabloid, the National Enquirer. The Associated Press reported previous year that Pecker kept a safe that held documents on hush money payments and killed stories, including records on ones involving Trump.
Eventually, prosecutors signed a non-prosecution agreement with AMI during the Cohen probe and the company committed that it would provide cooperation in the future and stay out of trouble.
Following the publication of de Becker's op-ed, the publisher issued a statement saying Sanchez alone was the source for its reporting. The Justice Department said that, based on the information provided by the company, it did not.
In his letter, Bezos talked about the growth of third-party sellers on Amazon, as independent sellers have grown from 3 percent to 58 percent of physical growth merchandise sales.
Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's former minister for foreign affairs, told CBS News that the government had "nothing to do with" the matter.
An attorney for AMI CEO David Pecker, Elkan Abramowitz, said in February that the source for the tabloid's story was "not Saudi Arabia".
Though de Becker wrote that the results of his investigation had been turned over to federal officials, it is standard practice for prosecutors to conduct their own examination of such allegations, and, in the case of a hacking claim, to seek first-hand access to the electronics that were allegedly compromised.