Actor Terry Crews said the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc (AMI), tried to “silence” him with fake stories as Jeff Bezos publicly accuses the publisher of trying to blackmail him.
Crews said on Twitter that AMI tried to silence him as he attempted to sue a Hollywood agent who he claimed groped him and the agency’s talent agency “by fabricating stories of me with prostitutes.”
Crews accused Adam Venit of groping him at an industry party in 2016, and filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. Crews told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2018: “The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand was that he held the power. That he was in control.”
Crews said on Friday that AMI tried to silence him and that they “even went so far as creating fake receipts” but that he “called their bluff by releasing their threats online.”
Crews first made the allegations against the company in 2017, when he shared an email that he said was from Radar Online, which is owned by AMI. He said that the day after he spoke about his allegations the publication emailed him about a story about him hiring two prostitutes in Monte Carlo in 2015.
“It never went 2 press because it was a lie,” Crews then said. “This was not a coincidence. I told u they were coming 4 me. I also told you I am ready.”
This was Crews’ tweet in 2017:
Crews shared the allegations again on Friday after Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, accused AMI of “extortion” and said it was threatening to leak naked photos of him unless he stopped his investigation into how the photos leaked to the National Enquirer.
In a blog post on Medium, Bezos said: “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”
And reporters including Ronan Farrow have since come forward to say that AMI had threatened them to stop reporting on the company’s relationship with President Donald Trump. Farrow tweeted that he and at least one other journalist “fielded similar ‘stop digging or we’ll ruin you’ blackmail efforts from AMI.”
AMI said its board would investigate the claims made by Bezos, but said it had “acted lawfully.”
“American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos,” AMI said in a statement on Friday morning.
“Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”
AMI and representatives for Terry Crews could not immediately be reached for comment.
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