Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does not have a prenuptial agreement with his wife MacKenzie which means that she will be entitled to half of his $140 billion personal fortune, according to TMZ.
Bezos, who is currently the world’s richest man, announced yesterday that he and his wife would be divorcing after 25 years of marriage. If that fortune is indeed split down the middle, $70 billion would mean that Bezos falls to fifth place on the world’s richest man list.
Meanwhile, MacKenzie would immediately become the world’s richest woman with a similar fortune eclipsing that of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, 65, from France whose family owns global beauty company L’Oreal and is currently worth $46.5 billion
The pair married in 1993 after dating for just three months. Because their huge fortune has been amassed after they were married, experts claim that it is highly unlikely that there was any prenuptial agreement in place. TMZ has cited sources with direct knowledge of the couple’s personal situation, confirming this is the case.
It is believed that the couple plan to file divorce documents in Washington. Washington is a community property state, which means all assets acquired during marriage by either spouse have to be split equally in the event of a divorce unless there is a prenuptial agreement in place.
However, a simple 50-50 split of assets is likely to be complicated. The couple is the second biggest landowner in the United States with assets including more than 400,000 acres of land. Valuing that land is likely to be extremely complicated.
The couple is also involved in a number of joint ventures together and in the statement announcing their divorce, it was confirmed that they plan to continue working on many of these. Given the apparent amicable nature of their split, many experts are suggesting that details of how their assets will be divided could already have been agreed to.
The revelations about their marriage arrangements come shortly after it was reported that Bezos has been having an eight-month affair with married former television anchor Lauren Sanchez, 49, behind his wife’s back. However, a source close to the Amazon boss has told the Daily Mail that he “only began seeing Sanchez after separating from his wife.”
Sanchez is currently married to Hollywood talent mogul Patrick Whitesell, but sources close to that couple say they “separated this fall” after things had been “on and off for a while.”