And finally… wife of Amazon founder could become world’s richest women as pair announce divorce
Following news this week that his company has just become the most valuable in the world, it has now emerged that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is to split from his wife in what is being suggested could result in the biggest divorce settlement in history.
Mr Bezo’s 48-year-old soon-to-be ex-wife MacKenzie is a novelist who authored The Testing of Luther Albright (2005) and Traps (2013), and she may now become the richest women in the world.
Mr Bezos, 54, who founded Amazon around the same time he married his wife 25 years ago, is the world’s wealthiest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, with an estimated wealth of $137bn, some $45bn ahead of Mircosoft founder Bill Gates.
The pair released a joint statement statement on their plan to split via Twitter yesterday.
“After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the couple said in the statement.
“If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again. We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.
“Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”
But while the announcement struck a kind tone, it offered nothing on how their wealth, estimated at $137bn, would be divided.
Divorce papers do not appear to have been filed in Washington state, where they made their home.
Under Washington state law, unless there is a prenuptial agreement, property acquired during a marriage is usually equally divided in the event of a divorce.
Carol Bailey, managing partner at Integrative Family Law in Seattle, said: “The court’s objective when there is considerable wealth is to make sure that both spouses in a long-term marriage of 20 years or more will, after divorce, be taken care of for the rest of their lives, and to make the ultimate financial result fair given the overall context and events of the marriage.”
And while apparently a mutual and civilised process thus far, it has now been reported that Mr Bezos had been having an eight-month affair with a married former television anchor behind MacKenzie’s back.
Lauren Sanchez, 49, a helicopter pilot and former anchor of Fox 11’s Good Day LA TV programme, have been dating since June, according to the National Enquirer.
The magazine claims Bezos met Sanchez for illicit trysts as often as six times in two weeks, took her on exotic holidays on his $65 million private jet and sent her erotic selfies “too explicit to print”.