National Enquirer’s parent company paid $200,000 to the brother of Lauren Sanchez—reported mistress of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—for “racy” text messages as evidence of their affair, The Wall Street Journal reports. The deal with Michael Sanchez reportedly caused rifts within American Media (AMI), with CEO David Pecker reportedly having “reservations” about publishing the story. According to the newspaper, Pecker was concerned that Bezos would sue if the Enquirer ran with the story. An adviser also reportedly informed Pecker that publishing the story could look like a move to benefit President Trump, a vocal critic of Bezos. Despite Pecker’s qualms, he reportedly approved the deal—but he did not know Sanchez would be paid by AMI upfront and would be allowed to sell the texts elsewhere if the Enquirer didn’t publish them in “about a month’s time.” When Pecker found out about the deal’s specifics from AMI’s general counsel, Cameron Stracher, over lunch, he reportedly started “raising his voice and cursing.” Sources close to Pecker told the Journal he felt as if he was “being forced to run the story.” In a statement to The Daily Beast, Sanchez called the Journal’s story “old rumors.” “I didn’t dignify the rumors last month and I’m not going to dignify them now,” he said. A spokesman for Bezos reportedly declined to comment. Lauren Sanchez did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment through an employee at her company and an Amazon spokesman. The Daily Beast first reported that Sanchez provided the Enquirer with the texts and that Bezos launched his own investigation into who leaked the messages to the tabloid.