Jeff Bezos’ secret new relationship
AMAZON billionaire Jeff Bezos has reportedly been having a "secret" relationship with a former TV host and the glamorous estranged wife of a major Hollywood talent mogul.
The world's richest man Bezos just announced his divorce from wife of 25 years MacKenzie, but according to new reports in New York Post he has already moved on with Good Day LA anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Sources told the Post that Bezos, 54, and Sanchez, 49, - who also works as a helicopter pilot - got to know each other through her husband Patrick Whitesell, an agent to stars including Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Kevin Costner, Hugh Jackman, plus a host of other A-listers.
Patrick, Lauren and Jeff were even pictured together at a 2016 event for the movie Manchester By The Sea, which starred another of Patrick's clients, Michelle Williams.
But sources say Lauren became closer to Bezos after she separated with Whitesell last Autumn. Meanwhile Bezos revealed on Wednesday that he and his wife have been going through a "trial separation".
An exclusive source told the Post "Patrick and Lauren have socialised with Jeff Bezos and his wife for a few years, because both (now former) couples have houses in Seattle.
"Then Lauren was hired to work on one of Bezos' projects, 'Blue Origin', a space launch company, as a helicopter pilot. She has been shooting aerial shots for Bezos.
"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."
Sanchez and Whitesell wed in 2005 and have two young children. She also has a teenage son Nikko, from her first marriage, to former NFL player Tony Gonzalez. They have not yet formally filed for divorce.
Lauren, a former co-host on Fox 11's Good Day LA, has been a guest host on ABC's The View and Extra. She was also the original host of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. She also runs a company called Black Ops Aviation, which specialises in shooting aerial shots for TV shows, movies and commercials.
On Wednesday Bezos, who has an estimated worth of $A189 billion according to Forbes, tweeted, "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. 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 post suggests the split was on good terms, with Jeff noting: "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 couple, who share three sons and a daughter they adopted from China, has received a lot of support on social media, with many crediting them for such an amicable split.
The pair first met at D.E. Shaw & Co, an investment management firm in New York where Jeff was a vice president, and was the first person to interview MacKenzie - a fellow Princeton graduate - at the firm.
After she got the gig as a research associate they became office neighbours and friends. "All day long I listened to that fabulous laugh," she told Vogue in 2013. "How could you not fall in love with that laugh?"
MacKenzie eventually made a move, according to a Business Insider profile of their marriage. They married in 1993, just six months later.
A year on, they moved to Seattle and founded Amazon, which would ultimately lead to Jeff becoming the world's richest man, surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates three months ago. He's also the first person in modern history to amass a fortune of more than $US100 billion ($136 billion).
Meanwhile MacKenzie went on to become an award winning author, writing The Testing of Luther Albright in 2005 followed by Traps in 2013.
Eventually though, the success of Amazon meant the family often spent time apart, with a source telling the Post Bezos and his wife, "Haven't been seen together at any big events together in a long time. He always seems to attend alone."
It is believed Bezos made the divorce announcement on Wednesday believing that photos of himself and Sanchez could soon be made public.
Bezos, Sanchez and Amazon did not yet respond to requests for comment.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission