In an earlier report about the Bezos divorce, CCN.com wondered if Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie had used a prenuptial agreement when they were married in 1993. Perhaps unfortunately for Jeff, they did not, TMZ reports .
Reportedly, Jeff Bezos has been officially carrying on a relationship with married Lauren Sanchez for some time. Readers may remember Lauren Sanchez from “So You Think You Can Dance?” She was a judge and host on the show.
The timing of the hook up coincides with Bezos’ initial separation from his wife MacKenzie. Jeff and MacKenzie were friends with Lauren and her husband, talent agent Patrick Whitesell . Both Lauren and Jeff officially separated from their spouses around the same time. Bezos’ lawyer and others insist that Bezos did not start seeing Lauren Sanchez until she had separated from her husband.
According to Page Six, Bezos and Sanchez were texting each other as early as April and May last year. Bezos wrote a number of lewd texts to Sanchez while she was still in a committed relationship to Patrick Whitesell and MacKenzie was still officially his wife:
I want to smell you, want to breathe you in. I want to hold you tight.… want to kiss your lips…. […] I am in love with you.
I will show you with my body, and my lips and my eyes, very soon,
While Bezos’ lawyer claims that Jeff and MacKenzie have “long separated,” the official announcement of divorce did not come until yesterday. Just last September they were spotted celebrating their 25th anniversary . About two months before the first alleged text was sent, Bezos told CNBC how to treat a wife .
Jeff Bezos did not become a millionaire until after the Amazon IPO in 1997. At the time of his marriage he was a good earner but far from rich. In addition to his massive trove of more than 15% of all Amazon stock, worth more than $120 billion at present, he and MacKenzie own over 400,000 acres of land.
Many expect the Bezos’ to have a very complicated divorce proceeding. Protecting his financial interests might become a nightmare, and MacKenzie Bezos stands to become the richest woman in the world. Effectively she will be able to buy Oprah Winfrey’s assets in whole every day of the week if she pleases.
No matter how it shakes out, it’s unlikely that MacKenzie Bezos will be anything less than a new addition to the Forbes top 10 list. Studies show that men are more likely to thrive financially after a divorce than women. Bezos will have to pull several rabbits out of the metaphorical hat in order to recoup what MacKenzie will get by virtue of ending the marriage.
Divorce courts often award alimony payments to minority-earning spouses. MacKenzie has a career as a writer but obviously Jeff is the earner in the relationship.
For Amazon investors, the question of Jeff Bezos’ holdings and what MacKenzie will do with her share is of great importance. Will MacKenzie hold her stocks or dump them immediately? Since the majority of Bezos’ wealth is in the stocks, she will have to seek them. Or could the court force Bezos to liquidate a portion of them in order to make a cash payment to MacKenzie during the proceedings?
While some analysts predict that Amazon stock will double in the mid-term future, it might be hard for the company to absorb sell pressure of over 5% of its outstanding shares. An alternative scenario might force MacKenzie to structure her sells or sell them to the company directly. The split has been characterized as “very amicable” by Jeff Bezos but even amicable divorces can get ugly once lawyers are involved.
Featured image from Wikimedia.