8:37 PM PT -- Lauren Sanchez's attorney, Terry Bird, just gave us the following statement on her behalf: "Michael is my older brother. He secretly provided my most personal information to the National Enquirer -- a deep and unforgivable betrayal. My family is hurting over this new baseless and untrue lawsuit, and we truly hope my brother finds peace."
Now, this is awkward ... the brother of the woman who's dating the richest man in the world is suing him. Welcome to the life of Jeff Bezos.
Michael Sanchez, the brother of Jeff's GF, Lauren Sanchez, claims Bezos defamed him by falsely claiming Michael was the source of graphic texts, some containing nude images of Jeff.
Michael, who says he was Lauren's "dutiful brother and manager" at the time the texts were released, says he cooperated with authorities during the investigation but was ultimately "scapegoated."
ICYMI, the feds reportedly said last week there was evidence Michael was the source of the graphic messages and got $200k in return for his services.
Michael says as a result of Bezos' statements, he suffered substantial harm. He says he was subjected to an FBI raid at his house in full view of the neighbors, he's received backlash from friends and business associates.
And, no surprise ... Michael's suing for punitive damages, saying "in an amount appropriate to punish and make an example of defendants." BTW, Jeff made $13 billion yesterday.
He's suing both Bezos and P.I. Gavin de Becker for unspecified damages.
We reached out to Bezos' people ... so far, no word back.