How Did the National Enquirer Get Jeff Bezos' Sexts?

Jeff Besoz-iStock-Getty-H 2019
Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios; iStock

The National Enquirer's 11-page report on Amazon chief Jeff Bezos' affair with TV host and helicopter pilot (and Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell's wife) Lauren Sanchez-Whitesell is chock-full of lurid details — like how the couple took private jet trips to Miami and shared selfies "too explicit to describe."

But the most intimate — and intrusive — bit of reporting is the text messages the 55-year-old husband of MacKenzie Bezos sent to his 49-year-old flame. “Your energy and ideas and competence and SPIRIT turn me on,” Bezos wrote in one, and in another, “I miss you. I want to kiss you right now and tuck you in slowly and gently. And maybe in the morning wake you up and not be quite so gentle with you.”

Enquiring minds want to know: How'd they get them?

A source close to the Enquirer says it's unlikely the texts were hacked. The most probable scenario, he says, is that they were leaked. "In my experience, a lot of times it's a friend of the mistress who perhaps isn't the closest friend," he says. "People talk. He's the world's richest man. That's hard to keep quiet."

And the upside for anyone to leak those texts? The Enquirer still pays for sources, the source added.

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.