Jeff Bezos has given a masterclass in how to respond to blackmail - Sandra Paul comments in Wired

8 February 2019

Sandra Paul, a partner in our Criminal Litigation team, shares her thoughts in Wired on Jeff Bezos' response to blackmail - Jeff Bezos has given a masterclass in how to respond to blackmail.

Sandra comments:

And the law is of some succour. According to Sandra Paul a partner specialised in criminal litigation at law firm Kingsley Napley, “disclosing that sort of information in the UK can amount to an offence”, adding that the public interest defence is unlikely to provide any protection. In the US, the situation is quite different. But publishing such pictures would be a remarkable escalation.

Paul explains that, with his going public, Bezos effectively neutralised his counterpart’s leverage. He turned the tables on the people pressuring him, by subverting the main assumption on which sex-based shakedowns are predicated. “The blackmailer seeks leverage on the assumption that the blackmailed individual will prioritise their privacy. [Bezos’s publishing the correspondence] took that leverage away. He has been able to do something that many ordinary people would love to do.”

Further information

If you are the victim of blackmail or sextortion, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. We have assisted clients in resolving matters without the need to go to the police; where a report is necessary, we will ensure that you have all the information you need to guide you through the process.

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