NATIONAL ENQUIRER PUBLISHER DAVID PECKER

Wow, this story, about how David Pecker, publisher of sleaze rag The National Enquirer, has reportedly tried to extort the richest man in the world is filled with wonder, intrigue and irony. The Hill reports that ‘A former National Enquirer editor said Friday that he believes publisher David Pecker “may end up doing time.”

“There’s a very strong chance that David Pecker may end up doing time,” Jerry George, the Enquirer’s former Los Angeles bureau chief, said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

“It’s looking less and less like yellow journalism and more like organized crime,” he added.

American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, is facing new legal questions after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos accused it of extortion and blackmail this week.

Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, said that AMI threatened to release intimate photos of himself unless he dropped an investigation into the tabloid.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what [AMI] sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

Bezos wrote the post following a story in the Enquirer that included text messages between him and a woman with whom he was having an affair. Bezos then began an investigation into how the Enquirer obtained his messages.

AMI said in a statement Friday that it believes it “acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.”

Last year, AMI agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in New York after it admitted to paying former playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 “in concert with” President Trump’s campaign “to stop her from publishing information about an alleged affair with the then-candidate.”