Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Seattle, WA, United States (4E) – MacKenzie Bezos, former wife of Amazon CEO Jess Bezos (also the world’s richest person), will become the world’s richest woman after her formal divorce from the Amazon founder.
Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years only announced their amicable divorce yesterday. That news, however, was followed a few hours later by the stunning revelation Bezos has been having a long-running affair with Good Day L.A. co-host Lauren Sanchez, who was married when they met.
Sanchez is a twice divorced mother and has three children by those marriages. Sanchez, 49, and her second husband, Patrick Whitesell, were only divorced last fall.
That Bezos and Sanchez have been in an extra-marital relationship while the former was still married to MacKenzie comes as no surprise, however. Bezos’ tweet announcing their divorce revealed that “after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”
The Bezos’ have four children and six multi-million dollar houses. With a net worth of some $137 billion, Bezos is the richest man in the world. Some 95 percent of Bezos’ fortune is tied to Amazon stock. Bezos also owns the Washington Post and Blue Origin, his aerospace and space tourism company.
The Bezos’ live in Washington State where property is split 50-50 between husband and wife. That being the case, MacKenzie is going to get a significant amount of the Amazon shares owned by her ex-husband, believes Forbes’ Assistant Managing Editor Luisa Kroll.
Kroll said MacKenzie will “get shares in the company” because Bezos’ wealth is tied in directly with Amazon stock. Kroll believes the shares will be in her name, but he will “probably still be voting with them.”
Even if MacKenzie gets only 50 percent of the shares (giving her a net worth of some $60 billion), she will still be one of the wealthiest people in the world — and the world’s richest woman.
“If she were to get half, which is within the realm of possibility, she would be the 5th richest person in the world. She would by far be the richest woman in the world.”
The richest woman in the world is currently Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, heir to the fortune of French cosmetics giant, L’Oreal S.A. She is worth $46.5 billion. Alice Walton of the Walmart family is the world’s second richest woman with a fortune of $41.4 billion.
A helicopter pilot, Sanchez runs her own company called Black Ops Aviation, an aerial filming company. Her company has done work for Bezos’ Blue Origin.
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