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Jeff Bezos wants $1.7 million legal fees from girlfriend's brother for false defamation lawsuit

Tom Warren, Sancez's attorney, called Bezos' fee request "obscene, even grotesque, on many levels," in an email

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | January 27, 2021 | Updated 15:13 IST
Jeff Bezos wants $1.7 million legal fees from girlfriend’s brother for false defamation lawsuit
Jeff Bezos with girlfriend Lauren Sancez

Jeff Bezos wants $1.7 million from his girlfriend's brother Michael Sanchez to cover legal fees he incurred as a result of Sanchez's unsuccessful defamation lawsuit.

Bezos and his personal security chief, Gavin de Becker, filed a motion Friday with Los Angeles County Superior Court to compel Sanchez to reimburse them for $1,676,919.50 in attorney fees and $36,019.26 in other costs they racked up while defending a defamation suit from Sanchez last year.

Sancez sued Bezos and Becker, claiming they defamed him by telling journalists that Sancez had been the source of nude photos of Bezos that were leaked to the National Enquirer.

The case was thrown out because Sanchez's only evidence was that he had heard that from journalists.

The tabloid drama between Bezos and Sanchez began more than two years ago. In January 2019, hours after Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced they were divorcing, Page Six and the National Enquirer revealed that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and former TV anchor.

Michael Sanchez betrayed his sister and Bezos by selling their private communications to the tabloid for $200,000 and then doubled down by filing a lawsuit, intended to harass Bezos into a settlement "by threatening discovery and public disclosure of private matters," Bezos, with a net worth of $193 billion, said in his request filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Tom Warren, Sancez's attorney, called Bezos' fee request "obscene, even grotesque, on many levels," in an email.

A California state judge in November threw out Sanchez's lawsuit under a state law that allows for expedited dismissal of baseless lawsuits over protected speech. Under the anti-Slapp statute, the prevailing defendant is entitled to have legal costs reimbursed by the plaintiff.

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