The National Enquirer, the scandal-plagued tabloid that engaged in “catch-and-kill” practices to bury stories about Donald Trump during his US presidential campaign, has been sold.
VVIP is also buying the National Examiner and Globe from magazine publisher a360 Media in an all-cash deal, though exact financial terms were not disclosed.
In December 2018, the parent company of publications including the National Enquirer, Us Weekly and In Touch admitted to engaging in a journalistically dubious practice known as “catch-and-kill” in order to help Donald Trump become US president.
Federal prosecutors revealed at the time that they had agreed not to prosecute American Media for secretly assisting Mr Trump’s campaign by paying $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with Mr Trump.
The company then intentionally suppressed Ms McDougal’s story until after the 2016 election which put Mr Trump in the White House.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, also accused the paper of attempting to bribe him in 2019 with embarrassing “below the belt” photos sent to his girlfriend.
American Media sold the National Enquirer and some other publications in April 2019 to Hudson News Distributors.
VVIP Ventures is a joint venture between digital media and content technologies holding company Vinco Ventures and ICON Publishing.