Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, announced on Wednesday that he and his wife MacKenzie Bezos will be ending their 25-year marriage. The couple issued a joint statement via the Amazon founder’s Twitter page and its wording seems to indicate that the split was amicable. Page Six is reporting that he has been “secretly seeing” TV host and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez, who is currently married to renowned talent agent Patrick Whitesell.
According to Page Six, Bezos and Sanchez met through her husband. The Bezoses and the Whitesells reportedly got to know each other better thanks to the fact that they both have properties in Seattle. Bezos’ space launch company Blue Origin later hired Sanchez to do aerial photography for them, a service she offers through her company Black Ops Aviation. Page Six‘s sources say that the former Good Day LA host started seeing Bezos after she separated from her husband.
“Patrick and Lauren Sanchez have been separated for a while,” the unnamed source said. “Their marriage has been off and on for a while, and they tried hard to fix things, but in the fall they officially separated. She had told Patrick that she has been recently seeing Jeff Bezos.” Sanchez and her husband had been married for 13 years before the separation. They’re the parents of two kids, 9-year-old Eleanor and 11-year-old Evan, the Hollywood Reporter notes.
In the divorce announcement, Bezos said that he and his wife had been going through a period of “loving exploration and trial separation.”
News of his changing marital status has led many to speculate about what will happen to the Amazon founder’s fortune. As the Inquisitr previously reported, he could potentially lose some of his $137 billion net worth in the divorce. In Washington where the Bezoses live, a couple must split the assets they gained during the marriage down the middle when they divorce. That goes for their property assets too. The couple currently owns 400,000 acres of land in the United States.
According to Washington state law, the 50/50 split happens unless there’s a prenuptial agreement in place which dictates alternate terms. CNBC reports that there’s currently no indication that Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos signed a prenup when they got married.
Business Insider reports that they met in the 1990s when Jeff was the vice president at D.E. Shaw & Co, an investment management firm. MacKenzie was up for a job at the firm and he was the first person to interview her. She reportedly asked him out to lunch one day and they were married six months after.