Dylan Howard, the National Enquirer editor who was captured in a hush-money plan to silence ladies who declared they had affairs with President Trump, has apparently left the grocery store tabloid’s parent business, American Media Inc.
Howard — an 11- year veteran at American Media who in 2014 was promoted to chief material officer, the leading editorial post in the company — left when his contract expired on March 31, according to Variety, which very first reported the news.
In addition to silencing ladies’s allegations of affairs with Trump, Howard likewise was declared in the Ronan Farrow’s Pulitzer Prize winning book “Catch and Kill” to have assisted disgraced movie magnate Harvey Weinstein dig up dirt on his accusers. Howard threatened, but never ever in fact submitted, a claim after the book was released.
American Media, which also releases US W eekly, Star publication and a host of other celebrity-focused titles, declined to remark on Howard’s reported departure. Howard did not return emails and calls from Media Ink.
As Media Ink very first reported, Howard was sidelined in early 2019 after he was accused by Amazon employer Jeff Bezos of attempting to blackmail him. The Enquirer had obtained steamy selfies that Bezos had allegedly sent out to his mistress Lauren Sanchez, triggering Bezos to announce he was separating his wife MacKenzie Bezos days prior to the tabloid released its story.
Howard was said to have threatened to release the salacious images of Bezos — including what Howard described in an e-mail to Bezos as “d–k pics”— unless Bezos launched a declaration stating the first explosive expose on his affair was not politically inspired.
Instead, Bezos published a story on Medium deriding what he stated was a blackmail attempt. After the Bezos debate, Howard was removed from his function overseeing the tabloids and reassigned as a VP for TV and video projects.
At the time, American Media had currently cooperated with a federal investigation into the so-called “catch and kill” stories that it purchased but never ever published in order to silence accusers of Trump who said they had flings with him years prior to he decided to run for president.
The Wall Street Journal broke the story that American Media paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal, a previous Playboy model who declared she had a yearlong fling with the wed Trump. In a second circumstances, American Media was implicated of being a avenue for hush money between pornography star Stormy Daniels and Trump’s ex-fixer, Michael Cohen.
Trump has denied the affairs. Cohen is presently serving a three-year federal prison sentence after pleading guilty for his role in organizing the 2016 payments to cover up what he called “my boss’ filthy deeds.”
In exchange for turning rat, American Media CEO D avid Pecker and Howard were approved immunity in the federal case in the US S outhern District of New York. However one of the terms of the deal was that the business stay out of legal trouble for the next 3 years.
The Bezos and Karen McDougal controversies were stated to be a major reason that Chatham Possession Management, which owns 80 percent of American Media, sought to sell the Enquirer to snuff out heat the deceptive hedge fund was getting from its financiers.
In April 2019, American Media stated it had a offer to sell the Enquirer and a number of smaller grocery store tabloid titles to a brand-new business headed by James Cohen, the CEO of publication wholesaler Hudson News, for $100 million.
Cohen did not return calls and the business has declined remark on the long-stalled Enquirer deal which sources speculated is dead in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Even if finished at the initial cost, the $100 million in cash would not be enough to satisfy the debt load believed to be around $400 million. In an odd twist due to past financial upheavals, investors and debt holders are one and the exact same at the business.
American Media has been beset by monetary troubles for rather some time. On April 1, the business said it was slashing all business wages by 23 percent as a response to the coronavirus. At the time, the company stated there were no layoffs.