Amazon’s Jeff Bezos sued for defamation by his girlfriend’s brother

Michael Sanchez, the brother of Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, sued the Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +7.38%  founder for defamation, alleging his representatives spread false rumors to news outlets that Sanchez provided graphic nude photos of Bezos to the press.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in California state court in Los Angeles, also names as a defendant Gavin de Becker, a security consultant hired by Bezos. Sanchez, a talent manager, claims de Becker worked with Bezos to spread false statements about the public disclosure of Bezos’ affair with Lauren Sanchez, Sanchez’s sister.

A lawyer for Bezos said, “My client has chosen to address this lawsuit in court and we will do that soon.” A lawyer representing Sanchez provided a statement on her behalf. It said, “Michael is my older brother. He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer—a deep and unforgivable betrayal.”

Sanchez’s lawsuit acknowledges that he helped publicize the relationship in an attempt to get out in front of news about the relationship. His lawsuit concerns what he says was a campaign by Bezos and de Becker to blame Sanchez for turning over graphic nude photographs, which Sanchez denies doing. People familiar with Sanchez’s dealings with the tabloid said he showed a below-the-belt selfie of Bezos to the Enquirer, without providing a copy, but turned over other images.

An expanded version if this report appears on WSJ.com.

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