Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos $137B Divorce Involves No Prenup

Lauren Sanchez and her reportedly-estranged husband Patrick Whitesell with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2016

Lauren Sanchez and her reportedly-estranged husband Patrick Whitesell with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2016

New details about Jeff Bezos' divorce have surfaced and many are expecting it to be very expensive.

"Jeff remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon", a company spokesperson said in a statement. "As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have made a decision to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends", read the statement signed by both of them".

Subsequent news reports suggest the timing of their announcement may have been forced.

Sanchez and Whitesell are also divorcing, according to several outlets including

For starters, the Albuquerque native began her journalistic career as an intern for a Los Angeles news station, while attending the University of Southern California, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Without such an agreement MacKenzie, 48, would be entitled to half of the 54-year-old Amazon CEO's estimated net worth of $137 billion. She also founded Bystander Revolution, an organization dedicated to combatting bullying that counts Monica Lewinsky and actress Lily Collins as ambassadors. She served as the initial host on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, and has been a contributor to TV shows including The View, Larry King Live, Showbiz Tonight, and The Joy Behar Show.

Reports revealed Whitesell and Sanchez, who have two children, had been officially separated since fall.

As for her personal life, Sanchez was previously in a relationship with former National Football League tight end Tony Gonzalez, with whom she has a son, Nikko, who was born in 2001.

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Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, did not address the financial terms of their divorce when announcing their split in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The couple has multiple residences across the country, so there is a possibility the divorce could be filed in a state where marital property is not presumed to be divided equally.

However, Bezos' wife, MacKenzie, knew the two were dating, the Post quotes an unnamed person close to Bezos as saying. It's important to note that there was reportedly no prenuptial agreement.

The divorce is further complicated by the fact the couple reside in Washington in the U.S. which is a "community property state" which means all assets and debts accrued during the marriage are considered equally owned by both spouses, unless a prenuptial agreement states otherwise.

The divorce deal could significantly dilute his ownership and control of Amazon.

"It's unlikely there's any risk to the company", said Stuart Slotnick, chairman of the matrimonial department of law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in New York City. "I'm in the process of converting my Amazon lottery winnings into a much lower price of admission so we can go explore the solar system".

In conclusion, they added that "though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends".

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