Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos does NOT have a pre-nup and will have to split his $140bn fortune down the middle in divorce – and make his wife MacKenzie the richest woman in the world
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and novelist wife MacKenzie ‘do not have a pre-nup’
- This means Bezos $140bn fortune is automatically split half-and-half in divorce
- An equal split would make MacKenzie Bezos, 48, the richest woman in the world
- Couple announced Wednesday that they are divorcing via statement on Twitter
- Bezos, 54, is seeing married former Fox 11 anchor Lauren Sanchez, 49
- National Enquirer accuses them of cheating on spouses in eight-month affair
- Claims Bezos met with Sanchez for secret trysts and sent her ‘erotic selfies’
- Bezos camp tells DailyMail.com that his wife was aware of the relationship
- They got engaged within three months after their first date and married in 1993
- The two share four children, including three sons and an adopted daughter
Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie did not have a prenuptial agreement and she will therefore be entitled to half of his massive $140billion fortune, according to TMZ.
Their divorce will be filed in Washington, a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage by either spouse are split equally, unless there is a pre-nup.
This would make 48-year-old MacKenzie Bezos the world’s richest woman, with a fortune of $70billion.
Since the duo’s fortune was amassed after they wed – just six months after meeting – there would have been little thought of a pre-nup at the time.
Jeff’s wealth has grown exponentially in the last five years, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $32 billion in March of 2014.
Chi-ching: Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos did not have a prenuptial agreement and she will therefore be entitled to half of his $140bn fortune – making her the richest woman in the world
Soon after the couple married in 1993, Bezos left his job as vice-president of an New York investment firm and they moved to a one-bedroom rented home in Seattle.
It was in the garage of this house Bezos set up Amazon in 1994, and they continued to live in the modest home until 1999, the year he was first included on Forbes’ Billionaires list with a registered net worth of $10.1bn.
When Bezos’ net worth reached $105.1 billion in January of 2018, CNN reported that he was the richest person in history.
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Now, he’s worth $136.9 billion, and he and MacKenzie are thought to own more land, together, than almost anyone else in the United States of America, according to Business Insider.
Even with a $70 billion fortune, the Amazon founder would still be ranked fifth richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
MacKenzie Bezos will be stealing the top spot from the current richest woman in the world, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, 65, from France, whose family run global beauty company L’Oreal. Her massive fortune of $46.5bn will be dwarfed by a divorced Mrs Bezos.
The division of the Bezos’ assets may still be be complicated because the two will continue to pursue joint ventures, according to the joint statement the couple released announcing their divorce.
This comes as it has been revealed that the Amazon CEO has been having an ‘eight-month secret affair’ with a married former television anchor behind his wife’s back.
Bezos has been dating Lauren Sanchez, 49, a helicopter pilot and the former anchor of Fox 11’s Good Day LA, since June according to the National Enquirer.
The magazine, which is set to hit the newsstands today, claim Bezos has been meeting Sanchez for illicit trysts as often as six times in 14 days, taking her on exotic holidays on his $65 million private jet and sending her selfies ‘too explicit to print’.
A source close to the Bezos tells DailyMail.com that the Amazon founder only began seeing Sanchez after separating from his wife, however the National Enquirer say the affair has gone on for some eight months behind their spouses’ backs.
Sanchez (far left) was spotted alongside Bezos at Amazon’s Golden Globes party on Sunday (above). Other photos of the couple are set to hit newsstands on Thursday
Bezos (right) is seen with Sanchez and her husband Patrick Whitesell in 2016. The couple were said to be friends with Bezos and his wife before Bezos began seeing her on the side
The National Enquirer will publish photos of Bezos and Sanchez in this edition set to hit the stands on Thursday. Bezos announced his divorce in anticipation of the photos’ release
The Enquirer says it trailed Bezos across five states for four months in what it calls the ‘largest investigation’ in the magazine’s history, with its photographer catching the lovebirds ‘doing the dirty on their spouses together no fewer than six times in 14 days.’
However they say they have evidence of the affair staring several months before their investigation began.
They say they followed the Bezos and Sanches ‘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.’
The magazine also claim they once met up at the same hotel in Boston, Massachusetts where the Bezos family stayed when they visited their son at MIT for Parents’ Day.
Sanchez is married to Hollywood talent mogul husband Patrick Whitesell, and sources say they ‘separated this fall’.
‘Patrick and Lauren Sanchez have been separated for a while. Their marriage has been off and on for a while, and they tried hard to fix things, but in the fall they officially separated. She had told Patrick that she has been recently seeing Jeff Bezos,’ an unnamed source told Page Six.
Lauren Sanchez is seen in 2012 at the Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Saloon in Las Vegas. The former TV anchor is now a helicopter pilot who owns a company that shoots aerial video
Sanchez is seen with her husband Patrick Whitesell in 2012. She married the powerful Hollywood talent agent in 2005 and the couple have two children together
Bezos and Sanchez are seen in their senior high school yearbook photos, he in 1982 in Miami, and she in 1987 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Sanchez, who is said to have met Bezos while her company was shooting aerial video for his side venture Blue Origin, was publicly spotted alongside the online retail mogul as recently as Amazon’s Golden Globes party on Sunday.
Bezos and Sanchez were seen together, along with her husband Whitesell, at a holiday party in Los Angeles in 2016.
The two couples are said to have known each other for years, and grown close because they both have homes in Seattle.
Hours before word of Bezos and Sanchez’s relationship became public, he announced that he was divorcing his novelist wife MacKenzie Bezos through a joint statement with her on Twitter Wednesday.
The couple claimed they had been going through a ‘trial separation’ in recent months.
The bombshell story is a major coup for the Enquirer and its CEO David Pecker, a one-time ally to President Donald Trump, whose scorn for Bezos’ Washington Post has been no secret.
One of the bylines on the Enquirer story is Dylan Howard, the editor whom prosecutors say was involved in with Pecker and Michael Cohen in an effort to pay for the silence of women who claimed affairs with Trump. Both Howard and Pecker were granted witness immunity in exchange for testifying in the case.
Bezos, 54, shared the announcement on his personal Twitter account shortly after 9am Eastern on Wednesday, signed by both him and MacKenzie.
‘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.’
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and novelist MacKenzie Bezos announced they are divorcing, through a joint statement on Wednesday, after 25 years of marriage. They are shown at left in 2003, and are pictured at right last year
‘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 posted to Jeff’s Twitter account on Wednesday read. ‘If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it again’
Jeff and MacKenzie are pictured in Sun Valley, Idaho on July 12, 2003. She was one of the first employees of Amazon at its founding, doing accounting for the start-up
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos married in 1993, one year before he founded Amazon, which he started from a garage in Seattle in 1994. Jeff is pictured with stacks of books in 1997
Jeff Bezos is worth close to $140 billion. The statement did not mention how the two will split that fortune, though experts believed that’s already been hashed out.
Much of that dollar amount comes from his 16 percent ownership stake in Amazon, which briefly became the second US-based company to reach a $1 trillion valuation in September, behind Apple in August.
Amazon’s stock edged up $2.84 on Wednesday to close at $1,659.42. That left Amazon with a market value of $811 billion, more than any other publicly traded company in the US. The company passed Microsoft this week to become the world’s biggest publicly traded company by market capitalization.
The divorce should have no material impact on the company and its shares, said Thomas Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson & Co.
Amazon Vice President of Corporate Communications Drew Herdener told DailyMail.com in a statement: ‘Jeff remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon.’
Two-time author MacKenzie Bezos, 48, who won an American Book Award in 2006, was one of the first employees of Amazon at its founding, doing accounting for the start-up.
Toby Yerburgh, Partner and Head of Family at Collyer Bristow LLP, told DailyMail.com:
‘Not since the ‘conscious uncoupling’ statement of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have a high profile couple released such a positive and upbeat statement announcing their divorce as the one released today by Jeff Bezos and his wife.
‘Such agreed statements often form part of the negotiations over a financial split and come attached to an NDA. They demonstrate the importance of high profile divorcing couples’ lawyers working hand in glove with their PR agents.’
Jeff Bezos is worth close to $140 billion. The statement did not mention how the two will split that fortune. Jeff (right) is pictured attending the Amazon Prime Video’s Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6 in Beverly Hills, California with Mr. Robot series creator Sam Esmail (left), head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke (second from left), and the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Rachel Brosnahan (second from right)
The bulk of the assets now at issue in this financial split include nearly 79 million shares of Amazon stock, which is currently worth about $130 billion, along with Rocket ship maker Blue Origin and The Washington Post.
According to Refinitiv Eikon data, MacKenzie does not hold any Amazon shares directly.
Liat Sadler, a San Francisco matrimonial lawyer, noted that spouses owe a fiduciary duty to one another.
‘They have duties not to waste or devalue marital resources, and to keep the value of marital property as high as possible,’ she said. ‘I don’t think there is an issue of concern for shareholders as to what will happen to Amazon because of the divorce.’
Sadler said the main options facing the couple regarding Amazon stock were for Jeff to buy out his wife or for MacKenzie to retain shares.
‘If she trusts that he would manage Amazon well, either he should pay her for her share of the stock, or they could enter a more complicated agreement where she keeps stock and he keeps voting rights,’ she said.
It is unlikely that many details of the divorce will become public, New York lawyer Bernard Clair, who is representing Judith Giuliani in her divorce from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said.
‘These two have been separated for a not insignificant time, and I would assume … they would have used the time to reach a private, confidential agreement,’ Clair said.
Less than two years ago, Jeff and MacKenzie couldn’t keep their hands off of each other as they vacationed in Italy in May of 2017
Less than two years ago, the two couldn’t keep their hands off of each other as they vacationed in Italy in May of 2017.
And now, on Sunday night, Jeff was all smiles while at the Golden Globe Awards, hobnobbing with celebrities without MacKenzie by his side.
Amazon Prime Video’ hosted its own after party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6 in Beverly Hills, where he was photographed with Mr. Robot series creator Sam Esmail, head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, and the star of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Rachel Brosnahan.
Jeff came up from virtually nothing to become the self-made billionaire, one hundred times over, that he is today.
He was born to a 16-year-old mother, Jacklyn Gise, and deadbeat dad, Ted Jorgensen, in Texas on January 12, 1964, as Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen.
When Jeff was 17 months old, his mom divorced Jorgensen, who belonged to a unicycle troupe and was making $1.25 per hour at a retail store, according to CNBC.
About three years later, Gise remarried Miguel Bezos in 1968.
Miguel had arrived in Miami in 1962 from Cuba, and he only knew one word of English: ‘hamburger.’
When Jeff was four, Jorgensen agreed to allow Miguel to adopt his son, and that’s how Jeff became became Jeffrey Preston Bezos.
‘Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends,’ the statement read. Jeff (second from right) and MacKenzie Bezos (third from left) are pictured with their three sons, the oldest of which is Preston, 18 (second from left), and their adopted daughter from China (third from right), attending the premiere of Paramount Pictures’ ‘Star Trek Beyond’ at Embarcadero Marina Park South on July 20, 2016 in San Diego, California
MacKenzie was born MacKenzie S. Tuttle on April 7, 1970, in San Francisco, California. Her father was a financial planner father and she had a stay-at-home mom.
By high school, she had moved east, and graduated from Hotchkiss School in Connecticut in 1988.
MacKenzie went on to graduate from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in English, with highest honors in 1992.
She studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison while in college, who said she was ‘one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative writing classes.’
Morrison, who was MacKenzie’s thesis adviser, was the one who connected her with famed literary agent Amanda ‘Binky’ Urban.
Jeff also graduated from Princeton, but in 1986, and the two never crossed paths while studying there.
Jeff and MacKenzie met at work in New York City in 1992. Jeff was the first to interview MacKenzie at the investment management firm of DE Shaw.
At the time, Jeff was a vice president there, and MacKenzie had come on board as a research associate, Business Insider reported.
The two Princeton graduates were engaged three months later and married in 1993.
Transformation: When Bezos’ net worth reached $105.1 billion in January of 2018, CNN reported that he was the richest person in history. Jeff is shown at left during a press conference on August 23, 2000, and at right during the Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on July 13, 2017
Jeff and MacKenzie were most-recently seen attending Senator John McCain’s funeral in early September in Washington, DC. Jeff was wearing a classic black suit with a blue tie, while MacKenzie wore a long-sleeve black sheath and matching heels
That was all before Jeff founded Amazon, which he started from a garage in Seattle in 1994. Since that time, the two have made a noticeable style transformation.
Portraits of the Amazon CEO that were taken in 1997 — the year his company went public — show him wearing a blue button-down shirt, pleated khaki pants, and a black leather wrist watch while posing next to stacks of books.
Fast forward to 2017, and Jeff set the internet alight when he showed up to the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley conference with bulging muscles peeking out from his polo shirt.
With his shaved head and tinted sunglasses — plus the bulging biceps — many on Twitter couldn’t help but compare the Amazon CEO to action star Vin Diesel.
Gone were Jeff’s baggy shirts and receding hairline and there, among the richest and most influential people in the world, he seemed to emerge reborn.
MacKenzie, meanwhile, went from frumpy separates to sleek, form-fitting sheath dresses that she often accessorizes with a pair of classic pumps.
Community property is the default rule in Washington, which means all assets acquired by either spouse during a marriage are split equally in divorce, but that can be opted out of with a prenuptial agreement. Jeff and MacKenzie own two homes in Medina, an exclusive Seattle suburb, an aerial view of which is shown. They paid $10 million for the property in 1998
The two were most-recently seen attending Senator John McCain’s funeral in early September. Jeff was wearing a classic black suit with a blue tie, while MacKenzie wore a long-sleeve black sheath and matching heels.
Speaking of their early years at an event in Berlin in April, Jeff said MacKenzie’s support was instrumental when he founded Amazon, and that she did the accounting for the company in its first year.
‘When you have loving and supportive people in your life, like MacKenzie, my parents, my grandfather, my grandmother, you end up being able to take risks,’ he said at the event.
The couple have gone from their modest Seattle one-bedroom home to amassing a property empire.
On the west coast, they own two homes in Medina, Washington, an exclusive Seattle suburb that is also home to Bill Gates.
They paid $10 million for 5.3 acres of property in 1998, according to the Wall Street Journal.
One of the homes covers 20,600 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The other is 8,300 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The latter is rumored to have cost $53 million.
The estate with 310 feet of Lake Washington shoreline underwent a $28 million renovation in 2010.
Bezos’ beautiful original Mediterranean-style home (pictured), located on North Alpine Drive, was purchased back in 2007 for $24.45 million
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos broadened his Beverly Hills abode by acquiring a neighbor’s off-market property for $12.9 million
This aerial shot shows the entire Bezos compound in a ritzy neighborhood of Beverly Hills
To date, the two own five homes throughout the country, including this second house shown in Beverly Hills which was acquired off-market from a neighbor for $12.9 million
The majority of the duo’s land holdings are in West Texas, where the family owns an estimated 400,000 acres in Culberson and Hudspeth counties east of El Paso. One of the holdings is a 30,000-acre Figure 2 ranch outside of Van Horn (pictured in an aerial view)
Figure 2 is also the home base of Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company Blue Origin, which was incorporated in 2001
In Beverly Hills, the two added on to an original purchase in Southern California from 2007 that cost them $24.45 million by buying an adjacent home in an off-market sale from a neighbor for $12.9 million in 2017.
The first home is a seven-bed, seven-bath Spanish-style mansion with a greenhouse, tennis court, swimming pool, six car garage and four fountains.
Neighbors reportedly include A-listers Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Walter Matthau.
The second home is far more modest at just 4,568 square feet with four bedrooms.
The majority of Jeff and MacKenzie’s land holdings are in West Texas, where the clan owns an estimated 400,000 acres in Culberson and Hudspeth counties, east of El Paso.
Most of the Texas land was purchased using limited-liability companies named for famous explorers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It includes the family’s 30,000-acre Figure 2 ranch outside of Van Horn, which serves as a reminder of the summers Jeff spent on his grandparents’ ranch growing up.
Figure 2 serves as the home base for Jeff’s private space company Blue Origin, which was founded in 2001.
A portion of the duo’s net worth comes from Blue Origin, which is valued at somewhere between $1 billion and $28 billion.
It is difficult to determine the specific value of the company because of the lack of details available about the enterprise, and the fact that Jeff is the sole shareholder, Chad Anderson, CEO of venture fund Space Angels, told Bloomberg.
Jeff said in April 2017 that he funds Blue Origin through the sale of ‘about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock’.
The Bezos paid $23 million for the former Textile Museum in Kalorama, Washington, DC in 2016
The space was built in 1912 and occupies a spot on the National Register of Historic Places
On the east coast, Jeff and MacKenzie own property in Washington, DC, as well.
In 2016 the Bezos dropped $23 million on a former textile museum in the Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC.
The 27,000 square foot space was built in 1912 and occupies a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Kalorma is known to be an enclave for Washington power-players including the Obamas, who own a $5.3 million home nearby, as do Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Jeff’s other big investment in the capital is The Washington Post, which he purchased in August 2013 for $250million. The paper is included in his estimated net worth.
The two bought three condos in the Century building at 25 Central Park West (pictured) in New York City’s Upper West Side in 1999 under an LLC called ‘Jetima’
The purchase of the New York City home in the building pictured was from former Sony Music head Tommy Mottola for $7.65 million
And in Manhattan, the two bought three condos in the Century building at 25 Central Park West in New York City’s Upper West Side in 1999 under an LLC called ‘Jetima.’
The purchase was from former Sony Music head Tommy Mottola for $7.65 million.
Jeff and MacKenzie share four children, including three sons and a daughter, who they adopted from China. Their oldest child, Preston, turned 18 in March.
MacKenzie is the author of ‘The Testing of Luther Albright,’ a psychological novel about the challenges facing a Sacramento, California father and his family after an earthquake, which won her the American Book Award in 2006.
In 2014 she launched Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization.
In September, Jeff committed $2 billion through the Bezos Day One Fund to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities. He had solicited ideas on Twitter in 2017 for ways to donate some of his wealth.
Last January, the couple donated $33 million to fund college scholarships for US high schoolers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.
In 2012, they donated $2.5 million to a Washington state campaign to legalize same-sex marriages there.
In November, Amazon picked America’s financial and political capitals for massive new offices, branching out from its home base in Seattle with plans to create more than 25,000 jobs in both New York City and just outside Washington, DC.
In November, Amazon picked America’s financial and political capitals for massive new offices, branching out from its home base in Seattle with plans to create more than 25,000 jobs in both New York City and just outside Washington, DC. Jeff and MacKenzie are pictured at the Amazon Golden Globes After Party in Los Angeles on January 8, 2017
Wife who helped him create a web giant
Without MacKenzie Bezos, Amazon may never have existed. She is said to have encouraged her husband Jeff to leave the hedge fund where they worked together in the early 1990s to try out his idea for an online bookseller.
A quarter of a century later Amazon has revolutionised internet retailing, and MacKenzie played a huge role. But the 48-year-old novelist has said she sees her fortune as coming from having loving parents and her family, not her wealth.
While she rarely does interviews, Mrs Bezos did once give a book about her husband a one-star review on Amazon because it had ‘way too many inaccuracies’.
Mrs Bezos was born MacKenzie Tuttle and studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison while at Princeton. She met her future husband when they were working at investment management firm DE Shaw where he was a vice-president and she was a research assistant.
He interviewed her and they hit it off immediately. She asked him out to lunch and three months later they were engaged; three months after that they married.
In an interview with Vogue in 2013 Mrs Bezos said that she loved hearing her future husband’s laugh in the office next to hers, which she called ‘fabulous’ – others have said it sounds terrifying.
The couple have three sons and an adopted a daughter from China and once tried homeschooling, without nannies. A friend said: ‘They would think it bad to raise kids who are isolated by their wealth.’
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