National Enquirer sold to group that includes indicted ex-MoviePass president

The National Enquirer, the tabloid at the center of many controversies involving former President Donald Trump, will be sold to a joint venture involving Theodore Farnsworth, the former chairman of MoviePass who has been criminally charged with securities fraud.

The Enquirer’s parent company, a360 Media, has agreed to sell the publication – along with other tabloid brands, the National Examiner, the Globe and the National Enquirer UK – to VVIP Ventures, a joint venture made up of Vinco Ventures and Icon Publishing, the companies said. Monday.

The price of the deal was not disclosed, but Farnsworth, the founder of Icon Publishing, told The New York Times it was just under $100 million. The National Enquirer has been on the block for about four years.

In November, prosecutors alleged that Farnsworth and Mitchell Lowe, the former CEO of MoviePass, misled investors about the once-hit movie ticketing startup by saying its “unlimited” plan would be sustainable and profitable. . Rather, authorities say, the two men knew it was simply a marketing tactic. A spokesman for Farnsworth said his lawyers would fight the charges until he was vindicated.

News of the deal comes a week after former National Enquirer editor David Pecker and his lawyer were seen entering a Manhattan courthouse where a grand jury was meeting to consider whether to indict Trump for a alleged scheme to pay silent money to porn star Stormy Daniels. of the 2016 election.

Pecker was known to be friends with Trump. He was accused of using “catch and kill” tactics on stories deemed potentially embarrassing to Trump. This means the Enquirer under his watch allegedly pays for stories about Trump and never publishes them.

In 2018, for example, federal prosecutors granted the National Enquirer’s parent company immunity for the silent $150,000 payment the tabloid gave to Karen McDougal, the Playboy model who claims to have had an affair with Trump.


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