Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, and his wife, MacKenzie, have announced an amicable divorce, yet the financial stipulations may present a significant hurdle for the billionaire. The couple, who had been separated, officially announced their divorce yesterday after 25 years of marriage.
"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," they said.
The announcement may have been prompted by a National Enquirer story scheduled for tomorrow, which details Bezos' alleged relationship with former Fox anchor Lauren Sanchez, who is currently married to Hollywood talent agent Patrick Whitesell. The couple is reportedly also getting divorced.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and world's richest man, divorces https://t.co/yrPv8SIXw0— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 9, 2019
Sanchez and Whitesell, who owned a home in Seattle, have been known to socialize with Bezos and his wife in the past. The former anchor, 49, has also worked as a helicopter pilot and has an aerial production firm that took aerial shots for Blue Origin, a company Bezos founded in 2000. She has been a contributor on "The View," "Larry King Live," "Showbiz Tonight," and "The Joy Behar Show," among others. The couple has been married for 14 years and have two children. Sanchez also has a son from her first marriage to former NFL player Tony Gonzalez.
Sanchez and Bezos were spotted in LA on Sunday at Amazon's Golden Globes after-party. According to the New York Post, Bezos announced his divorce yesterday knowing that photos of the two were set to be published. Bezos' wife, however, apparently knew the two were an item. "The news today was not a surprise to her. Lauren was with Jeff at the Golden Globes because they are dating," a source close to Bezos said.
TMZ reported today that Bezos and his wife did not sign a prenuptial agreement and will file for divorce in Washington, where state divorce law considers all assets accrued during a marriage community property, therefore, the court usually splits the property equitably. Despite not having a prenup, the couple may have another arrangement intended to protect Amazon.
“MacKenzie Bezos will get $66 billion in her divorce settlement with Jeff Bezos. This is the biggest transfer of wealth since Warren Buffett left his debit card at a McDonald’s drive-through.”@DesiLydic reports. pic.twitter.com/NCd1itEOPW— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 10, 2019
"It's unlikely there’s any risk to the company," said Stuart Slotnick, chairman of the matrimonial department of law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in New York City. "When you are talking over $100 billion there is enough to go around."
Even if his wife walks away with half his fortune, which is valued at $137 billion, Bezos will still be one of the top four wealthiest men in the world.