We can all agree that Amazon rules the world, yes? The company is worth exorbitant amounts of money and has wormed their way into the book, grocery, electronic and television industries with more encouragement than pushback. Normally, consumers are skeptical of giant corporations, but Amazon? Jeff Bezos can do no wrong in our eyes. Until, you know...he did.
Jeff Bezos started at Princeton, moved on to Wall Street and founded a teeny tiny online bookstore called Amazon soon thereafter in the early ‘90s. Accepting a $300,000 investment from his parents, Bezos struck obvious good fortune and Amazon went public after just three years. Now, Amazon’s market value is up to about $797 billion as of January of this year (it hit $1 trillion at one point), and Bezos’s highest net worth clocked in at $168 billion late last year.
Along for the ride during all of this was MacKenzie Bezos (née Tuttle), who married Jeff in 1993 -- just before Amazon was born. The couple has four children, and a dynasty was in the making.
On Jan. 9, the Bezos couple announced their divorce filing after what they called “a long period of loving exploration and trial separation.” Hours after this announcement, the National Enquirer dropped the bombshell that Jeff had been cheating on MacKenzie for the past eight months. The affair wasn’t low-key, either; the fling was with wife of Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell, Emmy-winning news anchor Lauren Sánchez.
And it was no small...affair. Jeff had been going on exotic vacations with Sánchez on his private jet, sending raunchy text messages and photos and having secret meetings at private estates. There were a number of intimate dinner dates, hotel weekends and even helicopter excursions. Jeff was downright wooing her.
There’s no denying that the separation and subsequent divorce was a direct result of the affair, and Jeff started making public appearances with Sánchez shortly after.
The Bezoses didn’t have a pre-nup, and their primary residence was in a community property state (Washington). Why would they? Amazon was just a pipe dream when the pair were married. At the time of their divorce filing, their estimated $144 billion net worth was up for MacKenzie’s sweet, sweet grabs.
This week, the high-profile divorced was finalized, with details as follows:
- MacKenzie is “giving” (her word) 75 percent of Amazon’s stock to Jeff, leaving her with about $35 billion.
- Jeff will retain voting control of all shares.
- MacKenzie has relinquished her interests in The Washington Post and Blue Origin (Jeff’s aerospace company).
- Jeff remains the richest man in the world with a net worth of over $110 billion.
- MacKenzie is now the third richest woman in the world.
What do we think about it?
MacKenzie showed the man mercy!
I don’t know their entire personal lives, of course -- no one ever really will -- but the way I see it, if my husband ever cheats on me and I have the opportunity to take half of his money (especially if it’s an outrageous amount of money)...I’m doing it.
Then again, Amazon has always been Jeff’s brainchild. Maybe MacKenzie doesn’t want the responsibility nor ownership of the conglomerate. Perhaps Kenz was just like, “Listen, $35 billion is enough to put all four of my kids through college on my own if I want to, buy some sweet new digs and vacation homes without the stench of an adulterous male on them and still have enough leftover for my in-depth weekly beauty treatments and the extra massages I’ll need after all this stress. I’m good with that.”
Some may say MacKenzie isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed for letting Jeff get away with 75 percent, but I’ll have some faith in the woman that she made a decision that was right for her. Although another $35 billion definitely wouldn’t have hurt.
What does everyone else think?
They’re standing by MacKenzie and think Jeff can be kicked to the curb for all they care.
Mostly, people are just wowed by how much money has been involved.
Some are even trying to wife her up now, for good reason.
Need a drink?
- 3 shots Billionaire vodka
- A splash of passion fruit juice
- Combine and shake; pour into gold-plated glass
- Flip hair over shoulder and sip daintily