Saudi Arabia has dismissed claims that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hacked Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ phone as “absurd.”
The kingdom’s US embassy called for an investigation into The Guardian’s report that Bezos’ phone was infiltrated when a malicious file was sent in 2018 during a “seemingly friendly” chat between the pair on WhatsApp.
The report had stressed that it was unclear what was taken — although the timing coincides with supposed hacked messages to then-mistress Lauren Sanchez that included crotch shots and naked selfies.
“Recent media reports that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd,” Saudi Arabia’s US Embassay tweeted late Tuesday.
“We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”
Sources had told the paper that digital forensic analysis found it “highly probable” that the hack was triggered by an infected video file.
Bezos — who also owns the Washington Post — had been sent a suspicious, unsolicited file during a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange with the crown prince on May 1, 2018, sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the UK paper.
Bezos later learned that the National Enquirer was reporting on his extramarital affair with Sanchez, sparking his split from his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, in January last year.
A month later, Bezos accused the Enquirer of trying to blackmail him with a series of racy pics, including the penis pic and a photo of Sanchez “smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated sex scene.”
The cryptic post mentioned Saudi Arabia numerous times.
Ther Guardian says the fresh report will raise “difficult questions for the kingdom about the circumstances around how US tabloid the National Enquirer came to publish intimate details about Bezos’s private life – including text messages – nine months later.”
Amazon has yet to comment on the reports. A lawyer for Bezos told the Guardian, “I have no comment on this except to say that Mr Bezos is cooperating with investigations.”
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