Inside Jeff Bezos And Lauren Sanchez's Relationship

It's not unusual for the name Jeff Bezos to conjure up a flurry of ambivalent thoughts in the average American's mind, which may go something like this: Does anyone really need $189 billion? Amazon's popularity keeps putting smaller companies out of business. Not to mention those claims about the company's workplace conditions. ... But I can also order whatever I want and have it in two days without ever having to interact with other humans.

Whether you love him, hate him, or both, there's no denying that the world's richest man has revolutionized American consumerism. For years, Bezos flew under the media's radar and lived a quiet life with wife MacKenzie Scott and their four children in Medina, Wash. As his massive wealth grew, Bezos went from "geek" to chic and began sporting a shaved head, impressive biceps, and stylish clothes. And while one hip makeover doesn't necessarily indicate a midlife crisis, a makeover plus an alleged mistress usually does.

Bezos and his now ex-wife announced their split in January 2019, and the tabloids reported on the very same day that the billionaire was in a new relationship with journalist/actor/business owner/pilot/producer Lauren Sanchez (zero shame if you felt exhausted just reading that). The latter pair's romance has since included some typical (and not-so-typical) relationship pastimes. Keep scrolling to find out all the fascinating details about Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez's relationship.

Did Lauren Sanchez's then-husband introduce her to Jeff Bezos?

Before dating Jeff Bezos, Lauren Sanchez was married to business and entertainment mogul Patrick Whitesell. Described by Town & Country as "one of the most powerful men in Hollywood," Whitesell was the executive chairman of Endeavor, a talent and media holding company, as of 2021. And while he may not have billions to his name, Sanchez's ex-husband holds an impressive estimated net worth of $300 million.

Whitesell also reportedly played an unwitting matchmaker when he asked his then-wife to meet Bezos. In 2019, Us Weekly reported that the two business moguls had known each other for years and even "worked closely together" on a project in 2016. An anonymous source cited by the magazine claimed, "[Whitesell] introduced Lauren to Jeff and suggested they work together on a documentary." 

The New York Times gave further credence to the claim that Whitesell was ironically responsible for introducing the future lovebirds, writing that Sanchez was "encouraged by" her former husband to spend time with the Amazon founder for business purposes (more on that later). The publication also noted that the two families became fairly close friends, adding that "their children played together at the Bezos family's 29,000-square-foot compound outside Seattle."

Lauren Sanchez worked for Jeff Bezos before their love took flight

Lauren Sanchez boasts a pretty impressive resume. The Emmy Award-winning news anchor has had several successful careers, but decided to go after her true passion in 2016. That year, Sanchez "earned her helicopter license" (via People), and one year later, started her own aerial filming company, Black Ops Aviation. "I had a career, and then I found a calling," the business owner told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. "I loved entertainment and I loved filming, and so I got to combine all of it."

However, she also revealed that then-husband Patrick Whitesell wasn't a fan of flying and that it made him "nervous." As The New York Times notes, after Whitesell introduced Sanchez to Jeff Bezos, "the two went flying together — encouraged by Mr. Whitesell, who saw the socializing as good for his wife's aerial film and production company, Black Ops Aviation."

The controversial Amazon founder was clearly impressed with Sanchez's talents, and the two bonded over their love of flight. Like Sanchez, Bezos started his own passion project in 2000 when he launched Blue Origin, an "aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight company" (via Business Insider). In 2019, a source cited by Page Six claimed that the two became even "closer" when "Lauren was hired to work on one of Bezos' projects, Blue Origin ... as a helicopter pilot. She [had] been shooting aerial shots for Bezos."

Did Jeff Bezos cheat on his ex-wife?

On Jan. 9, 2019, Jeff Bezos released a statement on Twitter on behalf of himself and then-wife MacKenzie Scott, which read in part, "After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce." However, plenty of people side-eyed the "long ... trial separation" portion of the statement as more details began to emerge in the media.

The Amazon founder's announcement came just hours before an explosive story from the National Enquirer. The tabloid claimed that Bezos was already in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez and had been cheating on Scott for months: "[We] can reveal that for the past eight months ... [Bezos] has been whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet, sending her raunchy messages and erotic selfies ... and having secret rendezvous at palatial private estates." (Don't worry — we'll circle back to those scandalous pics and texts.)

We may never know the exact timeline, but only four months earlier, Bezos and Scott were seen at a Miami nightclub in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. A source told Page Six at the time that the couple were "definitely still together." Still, while Bezos and Sanchez never publicly denied the National Enquirer's allegations, several anonymous sources popped up to insist that both were already separated from their spouses before hooking up. One insider cited by People claimed, "Patrick and Lauren ... have been separated. [Patrick] knew they were seeing each other." 

They found billionaire love at the tennis court

After the January 2019 divorce announcement and salacious National Enquirer article, Jeff Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez maintained a low profile. The former Extra correspondent and Patrick Whitesell officially filed for divorce that April (via People), and in early July, Bezos' divorce from MacKenzie Scott was finalized, per Reuters. This meant that Bezos and Sanchez were now free to flaunt their once-secret relationship — and the controversial couple decided to make their first official public appearance together on July 14, 2019, in London. 

Sanchez and Bezos attended the Wimbledon men's final tennis match and sat in the prestigious Royal Box. Several celebrities surrounded them, including Kate Beckinsale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddleston (via The Blast). And while actual royalty were also seated in the box (Prince William and Kate Middleton), all eyes were on Amazon's CEO and his new lady. 

The Daily Mail posted multiple pictures of the couple looking happy and flirtatious, with the tabloid commenting, "Sitting court side at one of the most hallowed venues in sport while two of the greatest players in the history of tennis battled it out was far less interesting to Bezos however than the prospect of kissing his paramour, which he was photographed doing throughout much of the match." 

Engaging in PDA while sitting in a heavily photographed seating section of a famous sporting event made a clear statement: Bezos and Sanchez were madly in love and wanted everyone to know.

Inside the shocking National Enquirer scandal

When the National Enquirer broke the news of Jeff Bezos' alleged affair with Lauren Sanchez in January 2019, the tabloid claimed that it had proof in the form of private text messages and intimate photos. While the publication never released the pics, it did print several of the gushy messages that Bezos reportedly sent to his lover. One particularly embarrassing "sext" launched several hilarious memes (via Mashable): "I love you, alive girl. I will show you with my body, and my lips and my eyes."

Unfortunately, things continued to get messier for the multi-billionaire. That February, Bezos published an article on Medium, entitled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker," in reference to David Pecker, the then-CEO of American Media, which owns the National Enquirer. Explaining that he had hired an investigator in order to discover how the outlet had obtained his private pictures and messages, the Amazon founder then claimed that the National Enquirer had attempted to blackmail him, writing, "They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn't stop our investigation."

In January 2020, sources cited by The Guardian claimed, "Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone 'hacked' in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia [Mohammed bin Salman]." Some theorized that the prince had then given the stolen information to the National Enquirer after a falling out with Bezos, but the Saudi government has denied this claim, per The Wall Street Journal.

Did Lauren Sanchez's brother betray the couple?

Before the Mohammed bin Salman hacking theory made headlines, another name was mentioned in connection with the National Enquirer scandal: Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez's brother. In January 2019, The Daily Beast broke the story, writing, "Gavin de Becker, the Amazon chief's longtime personal security consultant ... confirmed ... his probe has scrutinized Michael Sanchez." Other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, were told by anonymous sources that Michael was allegedly paid a large sum of money for the private pictures and messages.

In 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael had accused American Media Inc. (which owns the National Enquirer) of "saying Mr. Sanchez tipped off the tabloid about the affair and 'provided all of the materials' for its investigation." He subsequently sued AMI, alleging that "it was AMI that 'plotted to dig up embarrassing information' about Mr. Bezos to curry favor with President Trump and was aided by Saudi Arabia."

In addition to AMI, Michael also decided to sue Jeff Bezos for defamation. That February, CNBC noted that "the lawsuit, filed ... in Los Angeles County Superior Court, says Bezos spread false rumors that Michael Sanchez leaked intimate photos of Bezos to the National Enquirer." However, a judge threw out Michael's case that November, and Bezos later sued his lover's brother in return for $1.7 million dollars in legal fees in January 2021 (via Bloomberg). That March, Bezos was "awarded $218,000 in legal fees," according to Business Insider.

Are Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez secretly engaged?

Since her divorce from Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott remarried a teacher named Dan Jewett. Meanwhile, Lauren Sanchez's ex-husband, Patrick Whitesell, has also moved on with his fiancée, actor Pia Miller. So, will there be any wedding bells in the near future for Bezos and Sanchez? As of this writing, the couple hasn't made any announcements, but a few interesting details may indicate that the billionaire has already popped the question.

In December 2019, Page Six posted photographs of Sanchez and Bezos vacationing in St. Barts. One photographer managed to snap a pic of a huge diamond ring that Sanchez wore — albeit on her right hand. Sure, it's possible that the former news anchor did this to keep the engagement under wraps. But while Page Six declared that "Kathryn Money, VP of Strategy & Merchandising for Brilliant Earth ... estimated that the piece features a 7-to 10-carat yellow, heart-shaped diamond and cost approximately $100,000 to $150,000," the outlet also noted that "it does not appear to be an engagement ring."

However, Page Six spilled some possible engagement tea again in February 2020, writing, "Hollywood talent manager Michael Sanchez casually referred to his sister as the tech mogul's 'fiancée' in a lawsuit he is bringing against Bezos." We may not know if the couple is secretly engaged yet, but one thing seems pretty certain: If they do ever tie the knot, Michael Sanchez probably won't be Jeff Bezos' best man.

Lauren Sanchez is reportedly the reason Jeff Bezos has 'gone Hollywood'

Ever since getting together, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez have been spotted jet-setting around the globe, meeting with various political figures, and mingling with the uber rich and famous. While these activities aren't new to either individual, Bezos didn't receive as much attention when married to MacKenzie Scott. As Town & Country noted, "MacKenzie ... was known to have a limited appetite for attention. Sanchez, by contrast ... is more comfortable in the limelight."

Page Six put it more bluntly in February 2020, when the outlet asserted, "Since ... [the] revelation of his affair with bombshell Sanchez, the tech titan has become an object of public fascination. It looks like he's milking it for all it's worth." The publication spoke to anonymous insiders, who agreed that Bezos has seemingly changed since his humble beginnings. One former friend of the billionaire didn't hold back, claiming to the tabloid, "Jeff has clearly 'gone Hollywood' ... Risky fashion choices, lunch with Anna Wintour, a nonstop barrage of shameless selfies with A-listers ... and Lauren is calling the shots."

However, another source insisted that Bezos was already reveling in his celebrity status pre-Sanchez, and that Amazon's explosive success and his high-profile romance simply increased the media spotlight. The anonymous insider further pointed out that Bezos "started going to the Oscars and the Oscar parties 15 years ago ... people just didn't report on it."

Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez share the most expensive love nest in Los Angeles

In February 2020, the Daily Mail reported that Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez were looking at houses together in the Los Angeles area. Okay, not houses — mansions. Okay, okay ... not mansions — "mega mansions." Sources cited by the New York Post at the time claimed that the couple was interested in either Bel Air or Beverly Hills, noting that "some of the mansions they've toured have been listed for more than $100 million."

In the end, Bezos ended up purchasing an estate from media tycoon David Geffen — for $165 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, "The deal marks a record for the Los Angeles area." The property originally belonged to Jack Warner, one of the founders of Warner Bros., and Architectural Digest described the awe-inspiring estate as a "13,600-square-foot Georgian-style mansion [with] expansive terraces and gardens, two guesthouses, nursery and three hothouses, tennis court, swimming pool, nine-hole golf course." Sounds, um, cozy.