More Celebs Say They Faced Threats, Blackmail Attempts by National Enquirer Publisher

Actor Terry Crews claimed American Media Inc. "tried to silence me."

After Jeff Bezos claimed in a revealing blog post that the publisher of the National Enquirer had attempted to blackmail him, other celebrities and journalists have spoken out alleging the same.

Terry Crews said in a Friday tweet that he had a clash with the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc. Sharing a link to a story about Bezos, Crews wrote, "This same company, AMI, tried to silence me in my lawsuit against @wme and Adam Venit by fabricating stories of me with prostitutes — and even went so far as creating fake receipts. I called their bluff by releasing their threats online. They blinked."

Crews claims that he was groped by talent agent Adam Venit during a Hollywood party. The agent denied sexually assaulting Crews, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney decided not to file criminal charges. Crews, however, still pursued a civil case.

In a Thursday blog post, Bezos accused the Enquirer and AMI CEO David Pecker of "extortion and blackmail." He said the tabloid threatened to publish intimate photos of him and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez unless the Amazon founder dropped his private investigation into the company and how it obtained his private text messages. Federal prosecutors are investigating.

Bezos wrote in a blog, "Of course I don't want personal photos published, but I also won't participate in their well-known practice of blackmail."

Journalist Ronan Farrow, who helped break the story of alleged sexual abuse and harassment by Harvey Weinstein, also said on Thursday that AMI attempted to curb his reporting.

"I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar 'stop digging or we’ll ruin you' blackmail efforts from AMI. (I did not engage as I don’t cut deals with subjects of ongoing reporting.)" Farrow wrote.

Farrow had reported on the close friendship between President Trump and Pecker, and claimed that AMI had been involved in a practice called "catch and kill" with two stories having to do with the now-president and his alleged affairs with adult entertainment stars

Farrow also reported that the same AMI official that contacted Bezos, Dylan Howard, had been in contact with Weinstein about finding negative information on his accusers. Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex, and Howard told The New Yorker that he had no intention of publishing "off the record" information he obtained and that he "separated" his work with Weinstein from his job as a journalist. contacted AMI about the claims from Crews and Farrow, but the message was not immediately returned. 

Bloomberg reported in December that AMI told prosecutors that it worked to suppress stories "about the presidential candidate's relationships with women." The news site added that Pecker agreed as early as 2015 to identify negative stories about Trump, buy the rights to the story and then not publish them.

The National Enquirer denied any wrongdoing involving the Bezos story and believes it "acted lawfully," the publisher said.