Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Away’s Jen Rubio just had their first child together. Here are 13 other power couples who rule the tech world.

Evan Spiegel Miranda Kerr
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel and wife Miranda Kerr.

  • Slack’s Stewart Butterfield and Away’s Jen Rubio just had their first child together.
  • They’re among over a dozen other leaders in the tech industry in relationships with powerful people.
  • Some, like Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott, and Bill and Melinda Gates, have recently split up.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As the singer Grimes, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s girlfriend, might say, we appreciate power.

While some tech leaders, like Mark Zuckerberg, have been with their partners since college, notable figures in the tech sector have gravitated toward partners with just as much – or more! – power and pull in their industries.

Some are becoming new parents: This month, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Jen Rubio, the CEO of luggage startup Away, announced the birth of their first child together. The couple got engaged in May 2019, but postponed a planned wedding in Peru after the pandemic hit.

Others, sadly, have broken up: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, now MacKenzie Scott, announced in early 2019 that they were getting a divorce. And one of the most famous power couples in the world, Bill and Melinda Gates, are now headed for divorce as well.

Still, there are 14 other notable couples that hail from Silicon Valley who are still going strong.

Jen Rubio and Stewart Butterfield

Who they are: Rubio is the CEO of luggage startup Away, and Butterfield in the cofounder and CEO of work messaging platform Slack.

Their backstory: The relationship between Rubio and Butterfield initially flew under the radar, but it came under the spotlight in May 2019 when Butterfield jokingly proposed to Rubio on Twitter. Butterfield’s Twitter proposal followed news that Away had landed a $1.4 billion valuation, and the Slack CEO joked he wasn’t “just a goldigger.”

Butterfield and Rubio both acknowledged the proposal was a joke after a few hours. They got engaged for real that Memorial Day and announced the birth of their first child together, Oliver, in May 2021.

Emily Weiss and Will Gaybrick

So, a week ago, we got engaged. (!) Even during the wildest most uncertain times, there are silver linings. ❤️

A post shared by Emily Weiss (@emilyweiss) on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:25pm PDT

Who they are: Weiss is the cofounder and CEO of online makeup company Glossier. Gaybrick is the chief product officer at payments platform Stripe. Glossier is valued at more than $1 billion, while Stripe is the most valuable US startup with a valuation of $95 billion

Their backstory: Not a whole lot about their relationship has been shared publicly. The couple made their relationship public in an Instagram post from New Years Day of 2019, then announced their engagement in a post in March 2020

“Even during the wildest most uncertain times, there are silver linings,” Weiss wrote in the caption for the Instagram photo. Their engagement came just as the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus as a “pandemic.”

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr

evan spiegel miranda kerr

Who they are: Spiegel is the cofounder and CEO of Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company. Kerr was, at one time, one of the highest-earning models in the world, and is currently the founder of wellness company KORA Organics.

Their backstory: The couple started dating in 2015, and got married in May 2017. They have one son, Hart, who was born in May 2018, and another son, Myles, who was born in October 2019. Kerr also has a son, Flynn, from her previous relationship with actor Orlando Bloom.

Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan

sergey brin nicole shanahan

Who they are: Brin is the cofounder of Google. Shanahan is the founder of law-tech company ClearAccessIP and the Bia-Echo Foundation.

Their backstory: The couple has been linked since 2015, when they were seen together at the star-studded wedding for a dating app CEO in Jamaica. The couple reportedly have a baby girl together who was born in late 2018, although they’ve kept information about their child under wraps. Brin has two other children from his previous marriage to 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki.

It was revealed in October 2019 that Brin and Shanahan have been married since 2018, but there were no other details made public about the wedding.

Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner

josh kushner karlie kloss

Who they are: Kushner is the founder of venture capital firm Thrive Capital and is the cofounder of health insurance startup Oscar Health. Kloss is a prominent model who runs coding camps for young girls called Kode with Klossy.

Their backstory: Kloss and Kushner reportedly started dating in 2012. The couple got married in October 2018 in a small ceremony, then got married again in June 2019 on a ranch in Wyoming. In March, the couple announced the birth of their first child, Levi. 

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

Who they are: Zuckerberg is the CEO and cofounder of Facebook. Chan is a former pediatrician. Together, the couple launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropy focused on science and education.

Their backstory: Zuckerberg and Chan are college sweethearts — they met in 2003 while they were students at Harvard University. In May 2012, the day after Facebook went public, they got married in a surprise ceremony. The couple has two daughters together, Max and August, who were born in 2015 and 2017.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian

Serena Williams. right, and husband Alexis Ohanian

Who they are: Ohanian is the cofounder of Reddit, and later cofounded the VC firm Initialized Capital. Williams is one of the best tennis players in the world, and ranks third on the all-time list of most winning players with 39 major tournament titles. In 2014, Williams launched her own investment firm, Serena Ventures, to invest in companies like Billie, Tonal, and Daily Harvest.

Their backstory: The couple met in May 2015 in Rome, and started dating that same year. They got engaged at the end of 2016 at the same place in Rome where they had first met. Williams gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, in 2017, and they got married later that year.

Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue

marissa mayer zach bogue

Who they are: Mayer is the former CEO of Yahoo, and the cofounder of software company Sunshine. Prior to Yahoo, she was Google’s 20th employee. Bogue is a cofounder and managing partner at the investment firm DCVC.

Their backstory: The couple met through a mutual friend in 2007, and got married two years later. Mayer announced her first pregnancy in 2012 on the same day she was publicly named Yahoo’s CEO. She gave birth to identical twin girls in 2015.

Marc Benioff and Lynne Benioff

marc benioff lynne benioff

Who they are: Marc Benioff is the founder and CEO of enterprise cloud company Salesforce. Lynne Benioff is a notable philanthropist who serves on the board of the nonprofit ONE, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, the Benioff Ocean Initiative, and others.

Their backstory: The Benioffs were married in 2006, although details of their Hawaiian wedding were kept under wraps. In 2018, the couple bought Time Magazine together for $190 million.

Dave Morin and Brit Morin

dave morin brit morin

Who they are: David Morin helped to create Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect, and cofounded Path, a now-defunct photo-based platform. He’s currently an investor with VC firm Offline Ventures. Brit Morin is the founder of Brit + Co., a popular lifestyle media company for millennial women.

Their backstory: The pair first met when they both were working at Apple years ago. They got engaged in 2011 after an elaborate proposal set in the Maldives, and got married the following year.

Kevin Hartz and Julia Hartz

Julia and Keith Hartz

Who they are: Kevin Hartz and Julia Hartz cofounded the ticketing company Eventbrite in 2006. He is currently a chairman at the company, while she serves as CEO.

Their backstory: The couple met back in 2003 at a mutual friend’s wedding. In a 2012 interview with Business Insider, Julia Hartz said that “we knew we wanted to start a company together before we lived together.” The pair got married in 2006, and now have two children.

Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

Barry Diller Diane Von Furstenberg

Who they are: Diller founded the Internet company IAC in 1995, and now serves as a chairman for that company and for Expedia. Furstenberg is a lauded fashion designer who first rose to fame after marrying into a royal German family.

Their backstory: The couple got married in 2001, but have had an on-and-off relationship and friendship that’s spanned more than 40 years. They first met in the 1970s at a party Diller was hosting.

Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston

paul graham jessica livingston y combinator

Who they are: Graham and Livingston helped found Y Combinator, a wildly successful startup accelerator program that’s produced companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and Stripe.

Their backstory: The pair started Y Combinator in 2005 while they were already dating. They got married in 2008, and now have two sons.

Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum

Diane Greene
Diane Greene, CEO of the Google Cloud Platform.

Who they are: Greene and Rosenblum both helped found the cloud computing software company VMware in 1998. They also cofounded the cloud startup Bebop, which Google acquired in 2015. Greene was put in charge of Google’s cloud computing unit, and later sat on Alphabet’s board of directors. Greene is now chairman of the MIT Corporation, which is Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s board of trustees.

Their backstory: The couple met while attending the University of California, Berkeley, when Rosenblum gave Greene a ride on his motorcycle. They have two children together.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What it’s like to visit Little Island, NYC’s newest public park built as an artificial island off Manhattan

Little Island
  • Little Island, New York City’s newest public park, opened on May 21.
  • The park was primarily funded by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation.
  • “What I’ve heard Mr. Diller say often is that the park just transports you to Oz,” Celine Armstrong, Little Island’s project executive, told Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
New York City is already known for its landmark attractions like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Central Park.

statue of liberty

But now, a new contender funded by a billionaire TV magnate and a fashion powerhouse’s family foundation has entered the cityscape: Little Island.

Little Island

Little Island is tucked inside of the larger waterfront Hudson River Park, which runs along the West Side Highway.

Little Island

Despite its name, Little Island – and its cost, but we’ll dive into that later – is anything but “little.”

Little Island

The 2.4-acre public park is perched above the Hudson River on Pier 55 …

Little Island

… just a few blocks away from the Whitney Museum of American Art, Chelsea Market, and Google’s second largest office.

Little Island

Source: Google

“[The park is] really important for mental health purposes,” Celine Armstrong, the project executive for Little Island, told Insider. “You need green space, you need people to have a place to relax, and in order to do that, you need private dollars.”

Little Island

The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, headed by power couple Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, funded the majority of the public park.

Little Island

Diller currently serves as the chairman of IAC and Expedia, but previously ran companies like QVC and Fox.

barry diller

His wife, Diane von Fürstenberg, is a fashion powerhouse with an eponymous fashion line.

sun valley barry diller diane von furstenberg
Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.

The couple’s foundation has previously poured millions of dollars into public parks, and its long list of grantees include the Central Park Conservancy and the High Line.

Diane von Furstenberg

Source: Philanthropy News Digest, The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation

But the foundation’s latest push for Little Island may be the biggest yet: the park is the “largest private public donation to public open space in New York City’s history” …

Little Island

… and the second largest private donation to a public open space in the country, according to Armstrong.

Little Island

The foundation donated $260 million to Little Island, and will continue giving an additional $120 million through the next decade for upkeep and the park’s shows, Adrian Gaut reported for Wall Street Journal.

Little Island

Source: Wall Street Journal

In comparison, the city donated $17 million to Little Island, while the state chipped in $4 million.

Little Island

Source: Wall Street Journal

Diller’s decision to help maintain the park is “unheard of,” Armstrong said.

Little Island

Curbed recently referred to Little Island as Diller’s “big beautiful baby,” and it’s easy to understand why.

Little Island
  1. erstand why. 

Source: Curbed

Diller was so pivotal to Little Island, the project has been called “Diller Island.”

Little Island

Source: The New York Times

“He’s very involved with it,” Armstrong said.

Little Island

His wife, von Fürstenberg, was also involved by attending design meetings. Her attributions can be seen in the most minute of details on Little Island: she picked the bronze handrails, according to Armstrong.

Little Island

Little Island’s history spans back to 2013 when Diller partnered with the Hudson River Park Trust to reimagine Pier 54 – which had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy – as a public space and subsequently, a park.

Little Island

Source: Little Island

The starting team then tapped firms like Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects’ Signe Nielsen and Heatherwick Studio – which previously designed NYC’s controversial but flashy Vessel – to design and plan the logistics of Little Island.

Little Island

The park looks incredibly similar to its initial concepts, according to Armstrong.

Little Island

She believes this was possible in part because Diller and his family were patient, flexible, and able to fund all of the research and development necessary for the Little Island’s unique design and appearance.

Little Island

The majority of the park’s timeline was consumed by the design process, and not construction: “luckily if the design is good, you can efficiently build it because trades know what they’re doing,” Armstrong said.

Little Island

And after a slew of lawsuits, subsequent intervention from both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and issues with rising cost – as reported by the New York Times – the park was finally completed and unveiled to the city’s residents on May 21.

Little Island

Source: The New York Times

“Given how many revolutions this went through, from starting to dying and starting again, I was actually awestruck when I could actually look up and see it,” Diller told the Wall Street Journal. “I walked on [the island] and felt pure, actual joy, which is not something I can say happens very often.”

Little Island

Source: Wall Street Journal

Like most public parks in the city, Little Island is free for all visitors.

Little Island

It’s open from 6 a.m. through 1 a.m., but for now, guests are required to make a reservation for visits after 12 p.m.

Little Island

Luckily, I was able to visit the park a day before it’s grand opening. So let’s take a look inside.

Little Island

New Yorkers driving by on the West Side Highway have been ogling at the park’s unique foundation for many months now.

Little Island

And for a good reason: Little Island is visually unlike any other park in New York City.

Little Island

“What I’ve heard Mr. Diller say often is that the park just transports you to Oz,” Armstrong said. “You are transported into a different place and you have time to just wander around and be amazed at every turn, each pathway.

Little Island

The entire island sits on top of 280 concrete piles, the leftover structure from the pier, and 132 concrete “tulips,” according to a press release.

Little Island
An overhead view of Little Island.

Source: Little Island

The concrete tulips, which are all different shapes, are arguably the most eye-catching feature of the park.

Little Island

They tower above the Hudson River at varying cascading heights, mimicking the flow of the water beneath it.

Little Island

“I love high design and innovation and just pushing the boundaries of what could be built, and this does that,” Armstrong said. “It allowed us to tinker and really collaborate with everyone, so your ego is checked at the door.”

Little Island

From the outside looking in, the park looks like bundles of green foliage and bronze fences atop the concrete, tulip-shaped pillars.

Little Island

And inside the park, it’s unusually peaceful and lush compared to the bustle of New York City.

Little Island

Little Island also offers unique glimpses of the city through varying vantage points.

Little Island

The views of New York City from inside Little Island are unlike any rooftop Manhattan has to offer.

Little Island

Some parts of Little Island offer sweeping views of the Hudson River, while other sections provide a panoramic view of downtown Manhattan and One World Trade Center.

Little Island

These different viewpoints can be accessed by following the winding pathways sprinkled throughout the park.

Little Island

Seating benches and bunches of greenery and flowers also line every walkway.

Little Island

The park has over 350 species of foliage and flowers amounting to 114 trees and over 66,000 bulbs, according to the press release.

Little Island

Source: Little Island

And now that it’s springtime, the flowers are in full bloom, creating a colorful park that contrasts the city’s grey, sometimes drab skyscrapers.

Little Island

Now, let’s take a closer look at the different sections of the park.

Little Island

The “Play Ground” serves as Little Island’s central point.

Little Island

This is where you’ll find your typical park amenities, such food and drink options and seating under the shade.

The Play Ground at little island
The Play Ground at Little Island.

The amphitheater – known aptly as the “Amph” – is located just a short walk away from the Play Ground towards the northwest end of the park.

Little Island

One of the biggest changes from the original design of the park was the addition of this 687-seat amphitheater …

Little Island

… and subsequently, the dressing rooms, prop areas, toilet facilities, and general manager’s office, according to Armstrong.

Little Island

But the amphitheater isn’t the only public stage on Little Island.

Little Island

There’s also a conjoined stage and lawn area known as the “Glade” on the opposite end of the park.

Little Island

Yes, Little Island has two different stages, but that’s because the arts will be a cornerstone aspect of the park.

Little Island

Starting June, the island will have four resident artists and events like concerts, dance, and theater six days a week.

performers at little island
MeenMoves at Little Island.

“Little Island is going to spark inspiration for designers, engineers, general dreamers, and artists,” Armstrong said. “You’re experiencing the environment while you’re experiencing art.”

Little Island

All of this likely wouldn’t have happened without the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation’s donation and work, according to Armstrong.

Little Island

As a result, Armstrong hopes Little Island will encourage more private donations to public parks.

Little Island

“We need private donations for public open space, and this just shows what you can do with private money, Armstrong said. “You can have a bit more control and flexibility to test methods, and that’s how you reach excellence.”

Little Island
Read the original article on Business Insider

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

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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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