Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, have weathered a tabloid scandal, family drama, and a possibly even a hack by foreign operatives. Here’s where their relationship began and everything that’s happened since.

Jeff Bezos/Lauren Sanchez
Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez.

  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were publicly outed as a couple in January 2019.
  • Since then they have both finalized their divorces and embarked on a whirlwind romance.
  • Bezos has announced that he’ll step down as Amazon CEO in the third quarter.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s been a turbulent two years for Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.

In January 2019, the bombshell news broke that the Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Hours later, we learned that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a TV host and helicopter pilot who, along with her husband, had been friends with the Bezoses.

Despite a tumultuous few months that involved leaked texts, blackmail, a billion-dollar divorce, and maybe even interference from the Saudi Arabian government, Bezos and Sanchez are still going strong.

Now, Bezos has announced that he’s stepping down as Amazon CEO to become executive chairman and will hand the reins over to AWS CEO Andy Jassy.

Here’s how their relationship became public and how they’ve spent the last two years as a couple.

It all started on January 9, 2019. Shortly after 9 a.m., Jeff and his wife, MacKenzie, issued a joint statement on Twitter that they were divorcing.

Jeff Bezos MacKenzie Bezos
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos.

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

MacKenzie is one of Amazon’s earliest employees. The couple has four children together. 

Hours later, a second bombshell dropped: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez.

Lauren Sanchez
Lauren Sanchez.

Sanchez started her career as a news reporter and anchor — she was a longtime anchor of “Good Day LA” on Fox 11 and worked as a correspondent on “Extra.” 

More recently, she’s worked as a helicopter pilot and founded her own aerial filming company in 2016 called Black Ops Aviation. 

Sanchez has also had TV and film roles, including as the host of the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” and playing an anchor in movies like “Fight Club” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” according to her IMDB page

Bezos and Sanchez met through her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of WME, a Hollywood talent agency.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez Patrick Whitesell
Jeff Bezos, right, with Lauren Sanchez and her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell.

Sanchez and Whitesell had been married since 2005, but at the time the news broke, the couple had been separated since that fall, according to Page Six

According to Brad Stone’s book “Amazon Unbound,” Sanchez and Bezos reconnected at an Amazon Studios party for the film “Manchester by the Sea” in 2016, though it’s unclear when their romance began. 

In March 2018, Sanchez was invited to Amazon’s annual MARS conference in Palm Springs. One month later, they had dinner with Sanchez’s brother, Michael, in Los Angeles.

That July, Bezos hired Sanchez’s company to film footage for his rocket company, Blue Origin.

The National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez’s relationship and had obtained texts and photos the couple had sent to each other.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos.

The Enquirer said it had tracked the couple “across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and ‘quality time’ in hidden love nests.” 

Page Six, which published the news a few hours before the Enquirer, reported that Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos knew that the Enquirer report was coming out and had timed their divorce announcement to get ahead of the news.

The gossip site also reported at the time that Bezos and Sanchez started dating after Jeff and MacKenzie had separated the previous fall, and that MacKenzie knew of the relationship. 

The Enquirer said it had gotten its hands on “raunchy messages” and “erotic selfies,” including a text that reportedly read: “I love you, alive girl.”

FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin’s space exploration plans in Washington

The tabloid said it also had racy photos of Bezos, including one that was too explicit to print.

But according to Stone’s book, the tabloid never actually had a “below-the-belt selfie” of Bezos — it was a photo of someone else Michael Sanchez took from a male escort website and showed to the tabloid over FaceTime.

Almost immediately, questions arose about the Enquirer’s motives for investigating Bezos and Sanchez and the tabloid’s connection to President Trump.

david pecker
David Pecker, CEO of AMI.

A feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent Trump target. The Enquirer’s publisher, AMI, is run by David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally. 

By the end of January, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos was funding an investigation into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. Bezos’ personal head of security, Gavin de Becker, headed up the investigation. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were “politically motivated,” which AMI denied

The investigation initially pointed to Michael Sanchez, Lauren’s brother and an outspoken Trump supporter, as the person who leaked the photos and texts, which Sanchez denied

Then, in February, Bezos dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post titled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” in which he accused Pecker and AMI of trying to blackmail him.

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Bezos wrote that the publisher had been threatening him with the publication of explicit photos he’d taken of himself unless he stopped investigating who was leaking his photos and texts to the tabloid.

AMI also demanded that Bezos no longer claim the publisher’s investigation into his personal life was influenced by political motivations, Bezos wrote. 

As a result, Bezos published the emails he’d received from AMI.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote.

Bezos also hinted in the post that there may have been a link between the investigation into his relationship with Sanchez and the Saudi Arabian government — specifically, that he might have been a target of the Saudis because he owns the Washington Post, which provided “unrelenting coverage,” Bezos said, of the murder of its journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents. The “Saudi angle” of Bezos’ own investigation into the leaks seemed to have “hit a particularly sensitive nerve” with Pecker, Bezos wrote. 

For its part, the Saudi Arabian government denied any role in the situation and called the whole saga a “soap opera.” 

Things quieted down for Bezos and Sanchez publicly for a few months, until April 2019, when Jeff and MacKenzie finalized the terms of their divorce.

jeff bezos mackenzie bezos
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos both released statements on Twitter saying they had “finished the process of dissolving” their marriage and would be co-parenting their four kids.

MacKenzie said she was granting Jeff all her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned and voting control over the shares she retained. Her remaining stake in Amazon is estimated to be worth about $38 billion, placing her among the richest women in the world, according to Forbes.

One day later, Sanchez and Whitesell filed for divorce.

patrick whitesell lauren sanchez
Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez.

TMZ reported at the time that the couple asked for joint custody of their two children. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in October 2019. 

The Bezos divorce was finalized in July. A few days later, Bezos and Sanchez made their first public appearance as a couple at Wimbledon.

Lauren Sanchez Jeff Bezos
Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos.

The couple were seated behind the royals at the men’s Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the All England Club. 

A few months prior to Wimbledon, the couple had attended another exclusive event: the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, they mingled with Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg, according to Stone’s book.

The pair was spotted again in August on what appeared to be a fabulous European vacation: They were seen strolling through Saint-Tropez and cruising off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, aboard media mogul David Geffen’s superyacht, the Rising Sun.

rising sun super yacht
The Rising Sun.

Other guests reportedly included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the founder of Thrive Capital, Josh Kushner, along with his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss. 

Bezos and Sanchez were then seen on fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s sailing yacht off the coast of Italy. The couple appears to be close friends with von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC Chairman Barry Diller.

Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos
Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos pose at the the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum opening on May 15, 2019.

Source: Page Six

In December, Bezos reportedly threw Sanchez an elaborate 50th birthday celebration that included both a private dinner and a star-studded party attended by von Furstenberg and Diller, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Timothée Chalamet.

Katy Perry Orlando Bloom
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom.

Source: Page Six

Around the holidays, the couple jetted off to French-speaking Caribbean island St. Barths, relaxing on yachts and meandering around the island with Sanchez’s son, Nikko Gonzalez.

Lauren Sanchez Jeff Bezos

Source: The Cut

In January, Sanchez accompanied Bezos on a trip to India.

jeff bezos lauren sanchez
Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in India on January 16, 2020.

Sanchez attended Bezos’ visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s tomb and walked the red carpet with Bezos at an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumbai. 

A few weeks later, Sanchez traveled with Bezos to another international event — this time, a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France. 

Beginning in February 2020, Bezos was embroiled in a legal spat with Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother.

michael sanchez bezos 4x3

Sanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos in February, claiming Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely accused him of providing Bezos’ nude photos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but he says he never had the photos in his possession. 

Bezos said in a court filing of his own that the suit amounted to “extortion” and directly threatened free speech. Bezos sought to dismiss Sanchez’s lawsuit under a California law that’s intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. 

A judge has since tossed Sanchez’s defamation suit, citing a lack of evidence. The judge later ordered Sanchez to pay $218,000 in legal fees for Bezos.

In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word “fiancé” to describe Bezos’ relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple is engaged.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez
Bezos and Sanchez outside the Taj Mahal in January.

Here’s the full sentence from the lawsuit (emphasis ours):

“While Mr. de Becker’s initial asserted theory was that Mr. Sanchez had sold out his sister for $200,000, Mr. de Becker soon realized this theory would not hold up because, among other reasons, it was inconceivable that Mr. Sanchez would ruin his relationship with his sister and her current fiancé, the richest man in the world, for financial gain.”

Bezos isn’t described as Sanchez’s fiancé anywhere else in the suit, and Bezos and Sanchez have never confirmed that they’re engaged. In December, Page Six published photos of the couple on vacation, noting that Sanchez was wearing a large diamond ring on her right hand (engagement rings are worn on the left hand). 

At the time lawyers for Michael Sanchez said in a statement, “Michael’s complaint speaks for itself.” Representatives for Bezos and Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.

News broke in February 2020 that Bezos had reportedly purchased the Warner estate, a massive Beverly Hills compound, for $165 million. The purchase was the most expensive home sale in California history.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills
The Warner estate in Beverly Hills.

Prior to the sale, The New York Post reported that Bezos and Sanchez had been house-hunting in Los Angeles and touring mansions throughout the area for weeks.

The Warner estate was built by Hollywood mogul and Warner Bros. cofounder Jack Warner in 1937. It spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills. It’s an incredibly private property that’s surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.

The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion. The estate also features a pool, tennis court, and manicured gardens, as well as a nine-hole golf course and a “motor court” with its own garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest

Then, in July, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills’ Benedict Canyon neighborhood. 

In February 2021, Bezos announced that he’ll step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter. Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS, will take his place.

Andy Jassy Jeff Bezos
Andy Jassy, left, and Jeff Bezos.

Source: Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jeff Bezos appears to be creating a massive Beverly Hills estate worth as much as $175 million. Here’s everything we know about his record-breaking Southern California compound.

Bezos house thumbnail
  • Back in February, Bezos became the new owner of the Warner estate, a sprawling compound in Beverly Hills, California, that he purchased for $165 million, according to The Wall Street Journal
  • The estate features a 13,600-square-foot mansion, two guesthouses, a pool, and a tennis court. 
  • Then, in August, both Variety and Daily Mail reported that Bezos had become the new owner of an adjacent house, which he is said to have purchased for $10 million in July. 
  • The three bedroom, five bathroom house is directly next door to the Warner estate and shares a hedge with the compound. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jeff Bezos appears to be compiling a massive Beverly Hills compound. 

Back in February, the Amazon CEO purchased the Warner estate, a piece of Hollywood history belonging to billionaire David Geffen. The $165 million sale broke a record for the most expensive home sale in California state history. 

Then, in July, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills’ Benedict Canyon neighborhood. 

A spokesperson for Amazon did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the sale. 

While there are few photos of the estate and the adjacent home, Los Angeles County has plenty of aerial views of the property that give us our best look yet at Bezos’ rumored purchases. 

Jack Warner, the cofounder and onetime president of Warner Bros., built his estate in 1937.

Jack L. Warner
From left: former Warner Bros. CEO Ted Ashley, Jack Warner, and Frank Sinatra in 1969.

Warner started constructing the property in 1926, beginning with three acres of what used to be farmland in Beverly Hills, California. Slowly but surely, Warner started adding parcels of adjacent land and building out the grounds of the estate, adding a golf course and two ponds. 

Source: Architectural Digest

Warner liked to throw extravagant parties that were attended by stars like Olivia de Havilland and Jimmy Stewart and moguls like Howard Hughes. An invitation to a party at the estate was apparently one of the most sought-after in Hollywood in the late 1930s and early ’40s.

Jack L. Warner
From left: Warner, Audrey Hepburn, and director George Cukor.

Warner filled the estate with expensive art, including a portrait of his wife, Ann, painted by Salvador Dali, according to Architectural Digest.

Source: Architectural Digest

Warner died in 1978, and Ann Warner owned the house until she died in 1990. That same year, the music and movie tycoon David Geffen bought the whole estate, including the art, for $47.5 million, according to Forbes. The sale set a record at the time.

david geffen

Source: Forbes, The Wall Street Journal

Geffen, who is worth an estimated $9 billion, has a multimillion-dollar real-estate portfolio that includes homes in Malibu, California, and in New York’s East Hampton, and Manhattan.

David Geffen Malibu house
A man on the beach outside David Geffen’s Malibu, California, home.

Source: Forbes, Forbes

Geffen is also the owner of a $590 million superyacht called the Rising Sun, where he frequently hosts fellow moguls and celebrities – including Jeff Bezos.

rising sun super yacht

Source: Business Insider

Bezos has vacationed aboard the yacht near the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. Last year, he was pictured on the deck of the yacht alongside former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, model Karlie Kloss, and investor Josh Kushner.

Having a great time in the Balearics

A post shared by David Geffen (@davidgeffen) on Aug 6, 2019 at 3:52am PDT

Geffen frequently hosts high-powered celebrities on the 400-foot-plus Rising Sun. Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, and Barack and Michelle Obama have all been spotted on board. 

Source: Business Insider

In February, Bezos became the new owner of the Warner estate, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Journal reported that Bezos purchased the property for $165 million, making it the most expensive home sale in California history. No brokers were involved in the sale, according to The Journal.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, had been house hunting in Los Angeles and touring mansions throughout the area in previous weeks, the New York Post reported.

Jeff Bezos/Lauren Sanchez

Source: New York Post

The Warner estate spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Los Angeles County

The estate promises the utmost privacy. It’s surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills compound Warner estate
The Warner estate when viewed from Angelo Drive.

Source: Google Maps

The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills

The Georgian-style home has eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It includes a floor that was once owned by Napoleon, according to The Journal.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Los Angeles County, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal

Photos shot of the interior of the estate by Architectural Digest in the early ’90s show a screening room, an expansive bar, and a dining room that could easily fit 14 guests.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: Architectural Digest

The grounds also include a tennis court and manicured gardens. Geffen spent $45 million renovating the property, including $20 million on landscaping alone, The Journal reported.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal

There’s a large pool and what appears to be an adjacent hot tub outside one of the large guesthouses.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills

Source: Los Angeles County

At one point, the property also included a nine-hole golf course and a “motor court” with a garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest, though it’s not clear if those amenities are still on the property.

Jeff Bezos LA house

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest

Bezos reportedly bought an adjacent property in July for $10 million. That property is on Tropical Avenue, which is perpendicular to the Warner estate. It shares a hedge with the compound, though it is currently accessed from a different street.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills house skitch

Source: Variety

That adjacent property was built in 1930 and was last sold for $5.45 million, according to Variety. It features three bedrooms and five bathrooms, six fireplaces, a rear patio, and rose and vegetable gardens.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills house Warner estate

Source: Variety, Zillow

It’s not clear what Bezos would want with an adjacent property, but he has a history of snatching up homes near his larger estates. In 2017, he bought the house next door to his previous Beverly Hills mansion for $12.9 million. His ex-wife, McKenzie Scott, was granted both homes in the couple’s divorce.

Jeff Bezos Beverly Hills Home

Source: Business Insider, Variety

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, have weathered a tabloid scandal, a lawsuit, and maybe even interference from a foreign government. Here’s where their relationship began and everything that’s happened since.

Jeff Bezos/Lauren Sanchez
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.

  • In January 2019, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were publicly outed as a couple the same day Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced their divorce.  
  • The National Enquirer had been investigating Bezos and Sanchez for months and had obtained leaked photos and texts the couple had sent, including the now-famous message where Bezos called Sanchez “alive girl.” 
  • In the 18 months since, both Bezos and Sanchez have finalized their respective divorces and have embarked on a whirlwind romance that’s taken them from Wimbledon to a yacht in St. Barths to the Taj Mahal. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s been a turbulent two years for Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. 

In January 2019, the bombshell news broke that the Amazon CEO and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Hours later, we learned that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a TV host and helicopter pilot who, along with her husband, had been friends with the Bezoses. 

Despite a tumultuous few months that involved leaked texts, blackmail, a billion-dollar divorce, and maybe even interference from the Saudi Arabian government, Bezos and Sanchez are still going strong.  

Here’s how their relationship became public and how they’ve spent the 23 months as a couple. 

It all started on January 9, 2019. Shortly after 9 a.m., Jeff and his wife, MacKenzie, issued a joint statement on Twitter that they were divorcing.

Jeff Bezos MacKenzie Bezos
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos.

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

MacKenzie is one of Amazon’s earliest employees. The couple has four children together. 

A mere few hours later, a second bombshell dropped: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez.

Lauren Sanchez
Lauren Sanchez.

Sanchez started her career as a news reporter and anchor — she was a longtime anchor of “Good Day LA” on Fox 11 and worked as a correspondent on “Extra.” 

More recently, she’s worked as a helicopter pilot and founded her own aerial filming company in 2016 called Black Ops Aviation. Bezos has hired Sanchez’s company to film footage for his rocket company, Blue Origin. 

Sanchez has also had TV and film roles, including as the host of the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” and playing an anchor in movies like “Fight Club” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” according to her IMDB page

At the time, Sanchez was married to Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of WME, a Hollywood talent agency.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez Patrick Whitesell
Jeff Bezos, right, with Lauren Sanchez and her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell.

Sanchez and Whitesell had been married since 2005, but at the time the news broke, the couple had been separated since the fall, according to Page Six

The couple was friends with Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos because they had houses near each other in Seattle, Page Six reported. 

The National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez’s relationship and had obtained texts and photos the couple had sent to each other.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos.

The Enquirer said it had tracked the couple “across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and ‘quality time’ in hidden love nests.” 

Page Six, which published the news a few hours before the Enquirer, reported that Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos knew that the Enquirer report was coming out and had timed their divorce announcement to get ahead of the news.

The gossip site also reported at the time that Bezos and Sanchez started dating after Jeff and MacKenzie had separated the previous fall, and that MacKenzie knew of the relationship. 

The Enquirer said it had gotten its hands on “raunchy messages” and “erotic selfies,” including a text that reportedly read: “I love you, alive girl.” The tabloid said it also had racy photos of both Bezos and Sanchez, including one that was too explicit to print.

FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin’s space exploration plans in Washington

Source: Business Insider

Almost immediately, questions arose about the Enquirer’s motives for investigating Bezos and Sanchez and the tabloid’s connection to President Trump.

david pecker
David Pecker, CEO of AMI.

A feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent Trump target. The Enquirer’s publisher, AMI, is run by David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally. 

By the end of January, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos was funding an investigation into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. Bezos’ personal head of security, Gavin de Becker, headed up the investigation. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were “politically motivated,” which AMI denied

The investigation initially pointed to Michael Sanchez, Lauren’s brother and an outspoken Trump supporter, as the person who leaked the photos and texts, which Sanchez denied

Then, in February, Bezos dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post titled “No thank you, Mr. Pecker,” in which he accused Pecker and AMI of trying to blackmail him.

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos.

Bezos wrote that the publisher had been threatening him with the publication of explicit photos he’d taken of himself unless he stopped investigating who was leaking his photos and texts to the tabloid.

AMI also demanded that Bezos no longer claim the publisher’s investigation into his personal life was influenced by political motivations, Bezos wrote. 

As a result, Bezos published the emails he’d received from AMI.

“Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote.

Bezos also hinted in the post that there may have been a link between the investigation into his relationship with Sanchez and the Saudi Arabian government — specifically, that he might have been a target of the Saudis because he owns the Washington Post, which provided “unrelenting coverage,” Bezos said, of the murder of its journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents. The “Saudi angle” of Bezos’ own investigation into the leaks seemed to have “hit a particularly sensitive nerve” with Pecker, Bezos wrote. 

For its part, the Saudi Arabian government denied any role in the situation and called the whole saga a “soap opera.” 

Things quieted down for Bezos and Sanchez publicly for a few months, until April, when Jeff and MacKenzie finalized the terms of their divorce.

jeff bezos mackenzie bezos
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos both released statements on Twitter saying they had “finished the process of dissolving” their marriage and would be co-parenting their four kids.

MacKenzie said she was granting Jeff all her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned and voting control over the shares she retained. Her remaining stake in Amazon is estimated to be worth about $38 billion, placing her among the richest women in the world, according to Forbes.

One day later, Sanchez and Whitesell filed for divorce.

patrick whitesell lauren sanchez
Patrick Whitesell and Lauren Sanchez.

TMZ reported at the time that the couple asked for joint custody of their two children. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in October. 

The Bezos divorce was finalized in July. A few days later, Bezos and Sanchez made their first public appearance as a couple at Wimbledon.

Lauren Sanchez Jeff Bezos
Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos.

The couple was seated behind the royals at the men’s Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the All England Club. 

The pair was spotted again in August on what appeared to be a fabulous European vacation: They were seen strolling through Saint-Tropez and cruising off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, aboard media mogul David Geffen’s superyacht, the Rising Sun.

rising sun super yacht
The Rising Sun.

Other guests reportedly included Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the founder of Thrive Capital, Josh Kushner, along with his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss. (The group was pictured in an Instagram post that has since been deleted.)

Bezos and Sanchez were then seen on fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s sailing yacht off the coast of Italy. The couple appears to be close friends with von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC Chairman Barry Diller.

Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos
Diane von Furstenberg and Jeff Bezos pose at the the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum opening on May 15, 2019.

Source: Page Six

In December, Bezos reportedly threw Sanchez an elaborate 50th birthday celebration that included both a private dinner and a star-studded party attended by von Furstenberg and Diller, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Timothée Chalamet.

Katy Perry Orlando Bloom
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom.

Source: Page Six

Around the holidays, the couple jetted off to French-speaking Caribbean island St. Barths, relaxing on yachts and meandering around the island with Sanchez’s son, Nikko Gonzalez.

Lauren Sanchez Jeff Bezos

Source: The Cut

In January, Sanchez accompanied Bezos on a trip to India.

jeff bezos lauren sanchez
Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in India on January 16, 2020.

Sanchez attended Bezos’ visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s tomb and walked the red carpet with Bezos at an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumbai. 

A few weeks later, Sanchez traveled with Bezos to another international event — this time, a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France. 

Since February, Bezos has been embroiled in a legal spat with Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother.

michael sanchez bezos 4x3

Sanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos in February, claiming Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely accused him of providing Bezos’ nude photos to the National Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but he says he never had the photos in his possession. 

Bezos said in a court filing of his own that the suit amounted to “extortion” and directly threatened free speech. Bezos sought to dismiss Sanchez’s lawsuit under a California law that’s intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. 

A judge has since tossed Sanchez’s defamation suit, citing a lack of evidence. 

In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word “fiancé” to describe Bezos’ relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple is engaged.

Jeff Bezos Lauren Sanchez
Bezos and Sanchez outside the Taj Mahal in January.

Here’s the full sentence from the lawsuit (emphasis ours):

“While Mr. de Becker’s initial asserted theory was that Mr. Sanchez had sold out his sister for $200,000, Mr. de Becker soon realized this theory would not hold up because, among other reasons, it was inconceivable that Mr. Sanchez would ruin his relationship with his sister and her current fiancé, the richest man in the world, for financial gain.”

Bezos isn’t described as Sanchez’s fiancé anywhere else in the suit, and Bezos and Sanchez have never confirmed that they’re engaged. In December, Page Six published photos of the couple on vacation, noting that Sanchez was wearing a large diamond ring on her right hand (engagement rings are worn on the left hand). 

At the time lawyers for Michael Sanchez said in a statement, “Michael’s complaint speaks for itself.” Representatives for Bezos and Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.

News broke in February that Bezos had reportedly purchased the Warner estate, a massive Beverly Hills compound, for $165 million. The purchase was the most expensive home sale in California history.

Jeff Bezos Warner estate Beverly Hills
The Warner estate in Beverly Hills.

Prior to the sale, The New York Post reported that Bezos and Sanchez had been house-hunting in Los Angeles and touring mansions throughout the area for weeks.

The Warner estate was built by Hollywood mogul and Warner Bros. cofounder Jack Warner in 1937. It spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills. It’s an incredibly private property that’s surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.

The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion. The estate also features a pool, tennis court, and manicured gardens, as well as a nine-hole golf course and a “motor court” with its own garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest

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