Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and acclaimed novelist MacKenzie Bezos announced their split this week in what might be the most cordial and friendly divorce announcement ever. It even says, “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.” Pretty cordial and relaxed for the alleged richest couple in the history of humankind.
But despite the warm vibes surrounding their conscious uncoupling, drama is brewing in the worlds of tech and celebrity gossip. From dick pics to Trump to questions of who’ll keep their estimated $137 billion fortune, the Bezos divorce is dominating the headlines. In fact, it might just be the juiciest celeb divorce since Donald and Ivana Trump. Here’s why.
1. There’s no prenup.
Back when Jeff and MacKenzie got married, she was an aspiring writer and he was just the loud dude who worked in the office next door at the investment management company where they both worked, according to the Guardian. After their 1993 wedding, they moved west so Jeff could follow his adorable dream of opening an online bookstore.
Well, we all know how that ended: with help from MacKenzie, Jeff built Amazon, which now provides billions of people around the world with pretty much anything you could think of. Amazon now boasts a $1 trillion valuation — a sum of money that’s incomprehensibly huge.
The couple got engaged three months after their first date (MacKenzie made the first move!) and married after six months, before Amazon was even a thing. This apparently left them without time to get a prenuptial agreement — and neither of them was a millionaire yet, according to TMZ, so it’s not like they had many assets to protect. It’s thought that they’ll file in Washington state, where divorce laws dictate that property is divided down the middle in the event of no prenup.
Still, this doesn’t mean dividing their stuff will be easy. For instance, they reportedly own 400,000 acres worth of property. How do you even begin to split that up?! Guess we’re all about to find out.
2. MacKenzie Bezos was instrumental in getting Amazon off the ground—and she’s likely about to becoming the richest woman in the world.
MacKenzie not only performed the emotional and domestic labor of running the Bezos household while Jeff was working to build Amazon. She was also one of the company’s earliest employees.
Of course, as the details of their divorce become public, sexists will likely cry gold-digger if MacKenzie walks away with a big chunk of their (keyword: their) fortune. But it’s well-documented that MacKenzie was a major support system for Jeff since the very beginning of Amazon, back when it was called “Relentless.com.” She also helped with the logistics of running the company, working as an accountant and even helping come up with the name. Jeff himself has spoken glowingly time and time again of her support.
3. Bezos is allegedly having an affair with his friend’s wife.
Now let’s get into the slightly uncomfy stuff.
Shortly after the Bezoses’ divorce was announced, the National Enquirer (a publication whose top brass are buddy-buddy with Trump — but we’ll get to that later) published an explosive story alleging that Jeff had an affair with a former TV anchor names Lauren Sanchez.
Sanchez is married to an agent named Patrick Whitesell, but they’re reportedly estranged. Even more juicy: The Bezoses and the Whitesells have reportedly been friends for about 10 years. But it’s thought that the affair didn’t begin until both Bezos and Sanchez were separated from their respective spouses. And both MacKenzie Bezoes and Patrick Whitesell reportedly knew about their estranged spouses’ budding relationship.
4. The affair involves some pretty questionable sexting.
Because this is 2019 and receipts rule the world, of course some of Jeff’s naughty sexts to Sanchez are floating around, courtesy of the National Enquirer.
“I love you, alive girl,” reads one text that is haunting the brains of everyone reads it. “I will show you with my body, and my lips and my eyes, very soon.” (Yes, it’s already a meme.)
Another one read, ‘I miss you. I want to kiss you right now and tuck you in slowly and gently. And maybe in the morning wake you up and not be quite so gentle with you.” Ahhhh!!!
“I am so full of love for you,” another reads. “My heart is growing just so it can have room for you. It’s bigger than it’s ever been and still swelling.” Let’s ban men over 40 from using the word “swelling.”
And here’s another one that’s kind of… thoughtful?:
“You know what I want? I want to get a little drunk with you tonight. Not falling down. Just a little drunk. I want to talk to you and plan with you. Listen and laugh … I basically WANT TO BE WITH YOU!!! Then I want to fall asleep with you and wake up tomorrow and read the paper with you and have coffee with you.”
5. But there are also dick pics.
Unfortunately for the whole world, Bezos didn’t stop his digital seduction of Sanchez with words alone. Oh, no, he sent some pics too.
And the pics were apparently too steamy for even the National Enquirer to publish, which is saying something. They feature the standard shirtless mirror pic fare, but also “a below-the-belt selfie,” according to the Enquirer, “in an unsparing close-up that’s too explicit to describe in detail.”
Let’s all hope that never becomes public. Sources have commented to the Daily Mail about Bezos Jr.’s size, too, but we will spare you that particular detail.
Allegedly the pics became public because Sanchez blabbed to her friends about the richest man in the world sending her mirror selfies and dick pics like some sort of lonely millennial but like… WOULDN’T YOU??
6. A Lin-Manuel Miranda Super Bowl ad is involved.
Gentle songman Lin-Manuel Miranda has somehow become tangled up in this sordid web, and it’s not because he wrote an educational rap about it!
Instead, it’s because Bezos allegedly hired him to help create a Super Bowl ad, which Bezos “insisted” would include Sanchez. He also allegedly hired Sanchez to help create a documentary about a project of his, Blue Origin.
“Jeff hired Lauren to work on the Blue Origin project and a Super Bowl commercial, which he wants Lin-Manuel Miranda to write and direct,” a source told the Enquirer. “He keeps pushing the projects back for various reasons, constantly giving excuses why things need more time … With the money invested in both, it’s like he’s paying $50 million to cover up an affair.”
That last detail seems like it could be a stretch. Maybe Bezos hires Sanchez because he likes her work? But either way, Bezos, leave Lin-Manuel out of this! (A rep for Miranda has said no such commercial exists, but didn’t deny that Miranda had received an offer to work on one.)
7. There’s a tenuous #metoo connection.
Sanchez’s estranged husband who, again, is a talent agent, reportedly fired a woman who had rejected alleged perv Les Moonves’s advances. It’s unclear why Whitesell dropped the woman, whose name is Illeana Douglas, from his roster. But the timing is pretty sus and she seems to think it’s because Moonves was angry she’d rebuffed him.
8. And there’s a major Trump connection. (Isn’t there always?)
Donald Trump is not only linked to this scandal — he could be the reason why we know all these details to begin with.
First thing’s first: Trump has major beef with Bezos. In addition to Amazon, Bezos owns the Washington Post, a liberal-leaning newspaper that consistently criticizes the president and his policies. Trump has openly and repeatedly criticized both the Post and Bezos himself, and Bezos has occasionally clapped back.
The National Enquirer, you’ll remember, is the outlet that broke the news of the affair. And the Enquirer has shadowy links to Trump that include helping with his presidential campaign by admittedly buying a story about a Trump affair, but never running it — a somewhat sleazy practice in the media biz known as a “catch and kill.”
The Enquirer doesn’t have any official, on-paper ties to Trump — but it’s clear from its history that the tabloid and its CEO David Pecker are “essentially an arm of Trumpworld,” as MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes put it.
Why else would the Enquirer spend so much time following Bezos and Sanchez around as they indulged in “private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star-hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates, and ‘quality time’ in hidden love nests,” as the Atlantic puts it.
Trump, meanwhile, is not even bothering to hide his excitement over the scandal. At a press conference Thursday, when asked about the divorce, he said, “”I wish him luck … it’s going to be a beauty.”