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Inside Jeff Bezos and His Wife MacKenzie's Divorce

Caroline Hallemann, Chloe Foussianes
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images

From Town & Country

The richest couple in the world is getting a divorce. Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKezie announced their split on January 9, 2019 in a joint statement on Twitter. Here’s what we know about the pair’s pending proceedings thus far.

Recent developments have pushed the upcoming legal battle to the side, as the story becomes intertwined with that of the National Enquirer.

The day after the couple’s announcement on Twitter, the National Enquirer published an exposé of Jeff Bezos’s affair with Lauren Sanchez. The Enquirer deemed it “the biggest investigation in Enquirer history,” claiming the publication had followed Bezos and Sanchez “across five states and 40,000 miles” to prove that Bezos was cheating on his wife.

The Enquirer’s report included sexually-charged texts that Bezos had sent to Sanchez. This lead Bezos to launch an investigation into how the Enquirer had obtained his texts.

Photo credit: Todd Williamson - Getty Images

As Bezos claimed in a Medium post this Thursday, the Enquirer sought to block Bezos’s investigation with “an offer [he] couldn’t refuse.” The tech executive alleged that the Enquirer and its owner, David Pecker, threatened to publish illicit photos of Bezos unless he halted the investigation.

Rather than “capitulate to extortion and blackmail,” Bezos chose to expose the Enquirer’s threat with a public blog post, and included emails and letters as evidence of the publication’s dubious practices. According to USA Today, AMI responded in a statement saying it "believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story."

It’s unclear how these developments will impact Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’s divorce proceedings, if it all-but it certainly is keeping their story in the headlines.

The announcement indicated an amicable split.

"We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. 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," they wrote. Read the tweet in full here:

They had been married for 25 years.

The couple married in 1993 after meeting at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. in New York. They have four children together. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon the year after he and MacKenzie were married, and she was the company’s first employee.

Reaching a legal agreement won’t be a simple process.

Given that Bezos is the richest man in the world, the divorce proceedings are sure to be complicated, even if the couple parts on amicable terms. A lawyer specializing in high net-worth divorces, Frederic J. Siegel, told T&C earlier this month that reaching an agreement in this case would be quite the undertaking. “My guess is that in this case each side would have a main lawyer who is a quarterback leading a team of partners and other lawyers working on it… In other words, if you were getting everybody in a room, you would need a big room,” he said, adding that the Bezos’ high-profile divorce “will definitely go into the record books.”

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