National Enquirer sold to indicted former MoviePass CEO in $100M deal: report

The scandal-plagued tabloid National Enquirer, which engaged in “catch and kill” methods to bury stories about Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, has been sold to a mogul with his own past.

The Enquirer’s parent company, a360 Media, said Monday that it had sued the supermarket staple — among other publications, the National Examiner, The Globe and National Enquirer UK — for defaming former MoviePass chairman Theodore Farnsworth. An agreement to sell to a group under management.

Farnsworth, who was Criminal charge of securities fraud Last November, said The deal for the Inquirer and other titles was worth about $100 million, according to the report The New York Times.

The Inquirer was reportedly on the block for about four years before Farnsworth spun it off as part of a new company — VVIP Ventures — created by Vinco Ventures and Farnsworth-based Icon Publishing. Vinco owns Lomotif, which it bills as a competitor to TikTok.

The National Enquirer was implicated in “catch and kill” tactics to help Trump during the presidential election.
Christopher Sadowski

The sale to Farnsworth came after he and others were accused of misleading investors about MoviePass, the once popular movie ticketing startup. A spokesman for Farnsworth said his attorneys will fight the charges. According to CNBC.

The National Enquirer ran into its own legal tangle in 2018 for using “catch and kill” tactics in which the tabloid would allegedly pay for stories about Donald Trump and never publish them. The move was intended to help Trump win the presidency.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, over the tabloid’s coverage of Playboy model Karen McDougall, who it claims had an affair with Trump. The company then deliberately suppressed McDougal’s story until after the election.

Donald Trump with Playboy colleague Karen McDougall in 2006.
Donald Trump with Playboy colleague Karen McDougall in 2006.
Twitter / Karen McDougal

NY Post front page for Friday, February 8, 2019.  Amazon chief: National Enquirer boss tried to blackmail me with nude photos
The Post took cover after it was reported that Packer tried to blackmail Bezos over his nude photos.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos also accused the tabloid of trying to bribe him in 2019 over embarrassing nudes he sent to his girlfriend.

American Media sold the National Enquirer and some other publications to James Cohen, the former head of airport newsstand company Hudson News, in April 2019, but the deal never went through.

In August 2020, American Media CEO David Packer resigned from the company, known as A360, based in Smyrna, Ga. was handled by an established logistics firm.

Packer, former CEO of AMI
Former AMI CEO Packer was seen entering a Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury was convening to decide whether to indict Trump in an alleged hush money scheme.

Packer and her attorney were seen entering a Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury was convened to determine whether porn star Stormi Daniels was impeached before the 2016 election. Trump should be indicted for the alleged scheme to pay hush money. .

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