Sunday, October 20, 2019

Amazon CEO Bezos announces divorce to make his affair with TV anchor public

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2019-01-10 12:34:57 BdST

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been seeing a married former television anchor, and announced his split with wife MacKenzie Bezos to get ahead of the release of embarrassing photos that expose the affair, reports the Daily Mail Online.

Since at least the fall, Bezos has been seeing Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and the former anchor of Fox 11's Good Day LA who is married to Hollywood talent mogul husband Patrick Whitesell, according to reports.

Photos of Bezos, 54, and Sanchez, 49, are set to hit the newsstands on Thursday, in an edition of the National Enquirer that the magazine says 'exposes what really tore apart Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie after 25 years'.

The Enquirer claims that Bezos 'two-timed' his wife by 'whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet' and 'sending her raunchy messages and erotic selfies’.

However, a source close to Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos tells that the couple 'worked very hard' on their marriage before becoming separated, and that Jeff Bezos only began seeing Sanchez after separating from his wife.

The Enquirer says it trailed Bezos across five states for four months in what it calls the ‘largest investigation’ in the magazine's history, with its photographer catching the lovebirds “doing the dirty on their spouses together no fewer than six times in 14 days”.

The magazine claims that the affair has gone on for some eight months behind the back of both Bezos' wife and Sanchez's husband.

The bombshell story is a major coup for the Enquirer and its CEO David Pecker, a one-time ally to President Donald Trump, whose scorn for Bezos' Washington Post has been no secret.

Sanchez, who is said to have met Bezos while her company was shooting aerial video for his side venture Blue Origin, was publicly spotted alongside the online retail mogul as recently as Amazon's Golden Globes party on Sunday.

Bezos and Sanchez were seen together, along with her husband Whitesell, at a holiday party in Los Angeles in 2016.

The two couples are said to have known each other for years, and grown close because they both have homes in Seattle.

Hours before word of Bezos and Sanchez's relationship became public, he announced that he was divorcing his novelist wife MacKenzie Bezos through a joint statement with her on Twitter Wednesday.

The couple claimed they had been going through a 'trial separation' in recent months.

Similarly, sources emerged late on Wednesday claiming that Sanchez and her husband Whitesell had 'separated' in recent months, attempting to spin the alleged affair as something that was known to all parties.

“Patrick and Lauren Sanchez have been separated for a while. 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,” an unnamed source told Page Six.

Bezos, 54, shared the announcement on his personal Twitter account shortly after 9am Eastern on Wednesday, signed by both him and MacKenzie.

“As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the statement reads.

“If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”

Jeff Bezos is worth close to $140 billion. The statement did not mention how the two will split that fortune, though experts believed that's already been hashed out.

Much of that dollar amount comes from his 16 percent ownership stake in Amazon, which briefly became the second US-based company to reach a $1 trillion valuation in September, behind Apple in August.

Amazon's stock edged up $2.84 on Wednesday to close at $1,659.42. That left Amazon with a market value of $811 billion, more than any other publicly traded company in the US.

The company passed Microsoft this week to become the world's biggest publicly traded company by market capitalisation.

The divorce should have no material impact on the company and its shares, said Thomas Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson & Co.

Amazon Vice President of Corporate Communications Drew Herdener told in a statement: “Jeff remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon.”

Two-time author MacKenzie Bezos, 48, who won an American Book Award in 2006, was one of the first employees of Amazon at its founding, doing accounting for the start-up.

The two, who both graduated from Princeton University six years apart, live in Washington, which is a community property state, and that means all assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse are split equally unless there's a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise.

The division of the Bezos' assets will be complicated because the two will continue to pursue joint ventures, according to the joint statement.

“We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other,” the statement reads.

The bulk of the assets now at issue in this financial split include nearly 79 million shares of Amazon stock, which is currently worth about $130 billion, along with Rocket ship maker Blue Origin and The Washington Post.