It's been an eventful four years for Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend, TV host and helicopter pilot Lauren Sanchez, who are now reportedly engaged.
On the morning of January 9, 2019, Jeff Bezos and his now ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, issued a joint statement on Twitter that they were divorcing.
MacKenzie Scott, formerly MacKenzie Bezos, was one of Amazon's earliest employees. The couple has four children together.
Hours later, a second bombshell dropped: Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez.
Sanchez started her career as a news reporter and anchor — she was a longtime anchor of "Good Day LA" on Fox 11 and worked as a correspondent on "Extra."
More recently, she's worked as a helicopter pilot and founded her own aerial filming company in 2016, called Black Ops Aviation.
Sanchez has also had TV and film roles, including as the host of the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and playing an anchor in movies like "Fight Club" and "The Day After Tomorrow," according to her IMDB page.
Bezos and Sanchez met through her then-husband, Patrick Whitesell, the executive chairman of Endeavor Group Holdings, which is the parent company of Hollywood talent agency WME.
Sanchez and Whitesell had been married since 2005, but at the time the news broke, the couple had been separated since that fall, Page Six reported.
Though it's unclear when Bezos' and Sanchez's romance began, according to Brad Stone's book "Amazon Unbound," the pair connected at an Amazon Studios party for the film "Manchester by the Sea" in 2016.
In March 2018, Sanchez was invited to Amazon's annual MARS conference in Palm Springs. One month later, they had dinner with Sanchez's brother, Michael, in Los Angeles. That July, Bezos hired Sanchez's company to film footage for his rocket company, Blue Origin.
It was during helicopter rides together that the couple's relationship "blossomed," and Sanchez helped Bezos get over his fear of flying, which followed a 2003 helicopter crash, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The National Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into Bezos and Sanchez's relationship and had obtained texts and photos the couple had sent to each other.
The Enquirer said it had tracked the couple "across five states and 40,000 miles, tailed them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and 'quality time' in hidden love nests."
Page Six, which published the news a few hours before the Enquirer, reported that Bezos and his then-wife knew that the Enquirer report was coming out and had timed their divorce announcement to get ahead of the news.
The gossip site also reported at the time that Bezos and Sanchez started dating after he and Scott had separated the previous fall, and that Scott knew of the relationship.
The Enquirer said it had gotten its hands on "raunchy messages" and "erotic selfies," including a text that reportedly read: "I love you, alive girl."
The tabloid said it also had racy photos of Bezos, including one that was too explicit to print.
But according to Stone's book, the tabloid never actually had a "below-the-belt selfie" of Bezos — it was a photo of someone else Michael Sanchez took from a male-escort website and showed to the tabloid over FaceTime.
Almost immediately, questions arose about the Enquirer's motives for investigating Bezos and Sanchez, as well as the tabloid's connection to Donald Trump.
A feud has simmered for years between Trump and Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent Trump target.
The Enquirer's publisher, then known as AMI, was run by David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally. (In August 2020, AMI combined with Accelerate 360 to form A360 Media, with Pecker as executive advisor.)
By the end of January 2019, The Daily Beast reported that Bezos had started funding an investigation into who had leaked his private messages to the Enquirer. Bezos' personal head of security, Gavin de Becker, headed up the investigation. De Becker said at the time that he thought the leaks were "politically motivated," which AMI denied.
The investigation initially pointed to Michael Sanchez, Lauren's brother and an outspoken Trump supporter, as the person who leaked the photos and texts, which Sanchez denied.
Then, that February, Bezos dropped a bombshell of his own: an explosive blog post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker," in which he accused Pecker and AMI of trying to blackmail him.
Bezos wrote that the publisher had been threatening him with the publication of his own explicit photos unless he stopped investigating who was leaking his photos and texts to the tabloid.
AMI also demanded that Bezos no longer claim the publisher's investigation into his personal life was influenced by political motivations, Bezos wrote.
As a result, Bezos published the emails he'd received from AMI.
"Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I've decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten," Bezos wrote.
Bezos also hinted in the post that there may have been a link between the investigation into his relationship with Sanchez and the Saudi Arabian government — specifically, that he might have been a target of the Saudis because he owns the Washington Post, which provided "unrelenting coverage," Bezos said, of the murder of its journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by Saudi agents. The "Saudi angle" of Bezos' own investigation into the leaks seemed to have "hit a particularly sensitive nerve" with Pecker, Bezos wrote.
For its part, the Saudi Arabian government denied any role in the situation and called the whole saga a "soap opera."
Things quieted down for Bezos and Sanchez publicly for a few months, until April 2019, when Bezos and Scott finalized the terms of their divorce.
Bezos and Scott both released statements on Twitter saying they had "finished the process of dissolving" their marriage and would be co-parenting their four kids.
Scott said she was granting Bezos all her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75% of the Amazon stock they owned, and voting control over the shares she retained.
Her remaining stake in Amazon has positioned her among the richest people in the world. Though she's spent the past several years steadily giving away her wealth to a variety of causes, her net worth still stands at $26.1 billion.
One day later, Sanchez and Whitesell filed for divorce.
TMZ reported at the time that the couple filed for joint custody of their two children. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in October 2019.
The Bezos divorce was finalized that July. A few days later, Bezos and Sanchez made their first public appearance as a couple at Wimbledon.
The couple were seated behind the royals at the men's Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the All England Club.
A few months prior to Wimbledon, the couple had attended another exclusive event: the annual Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. There, they mingled with Warren Buffett, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg, according to Stone's book.
The pair was spotted again in August on what appeared to be a fabulous European vacation.
They were seen strolling through Saint-Tropez and cruising off the coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, aboard media mogul David Geffen's superyacht, the Rising Sun.
Other guests reportedly included former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and the founder of Thrive Capital, Josh Kushner, along with his supermodel wife, Karlie Kloss.
Bezos and Sanchez were then seen on fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg's sailing yacht off the coast of Italy.
The couple appears to be close friends with von Furstenberg and her husband, IAC Chairman Barry Diller.
In December 2019, Bezos reportedly threw Sanchez an elaborate 50th birthday celebration.
The celebration included both a private dinner and a star-studded party attended by von Furstenberg and Diller, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, and Timothée Chalamet, Page Six reported.
Around the holidays, the couple jetted off to French-speaking Caribbean island St. Barths.
There, they relaxed on yachts and meandered around the island with Sanchez's son with her previous partner, former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez.
In January 2020, Sanchez accompanied Bezos on a trip to India.
Sanchez attended Bezos' visit to Mahatma Gandhi's tomb and walked the red carpet with Bezos at an Amazon Prime Video event in Mumbai.
A few weeks later, Sanchez traveled with Bezos to another international event — this time, a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France.
Meanwhile, Bezos had become embroiled in a legal spat with Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez's brother.
Michael Sanchez filed a defamation lawsuit against Bezos in February 2020, claiming Bezos and his security consultant, Gavin de Becker, falsely accused him of providing Bezos' nude photos to the National Enquirer. Michael Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but he says he never had the photos in his possession.
Bezos said in a court filing of his own that the suit amounted to "extortion" and directly threatened free speech. Bezos sought to dismiss Sanchez's lawsuit under a California law that's intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits.
A judge has since tossed Sanchez's defamation suit, citing a lack of evidence. The judge later ordered Sanchez to pay $218,000 in legal fees for Bezos.
In the lawsuit, Sanchez used the word "fiancé" to describe Bezos' relationship to Lauren Sanchez, implying that the couple was engaged.
Here's the full sentence from the lawsuit (emphasis ours):
"While Mr. de Becker's initial asserted theory was that Mr. Sanchez had sold out his sister for $200,000, Mr. de Becker soon realized this theory would not hold up because, among other reasons, it was inconceivable that Mr. Sanchez would ruin his relationship with his sister and her current fiancé, the richest man in the world, for financial gain."
Bezos isn't described as Sanchez's fiancé anywhere else in the suit, and Bezos and Sanchez never confirmed they were engaged at the time. In December 2019, Page Six published photos of the couple on vacation, noting that Sanchez was wearing a large diamond ring. She has since been spotted several times with the ring on her left hand, where engagement rings are typically worn.
At the time lawyers for Michael Sanchez said in a statement, "Michael's complaint speaks for itself."
News broke in early 2020 that Bezos had purchased the Warner estate, a massive Beverly Hills compound, for $165 million. The purchase was the most expensive home sale in California history at the time.
Prior to the sale, The New York Post reported that Bezos and Sanchez had been house-hunting in Los Angeles for weeks, touring mansions throughout the area.
The Warner estate was built by Hollywood mogul and Warner Bros. cofounder Jack Warner in 1937. It spans eight acres and is situated in the Benedict Canyon neighborhood of Beverly Hills. It's an incredibly private property that's surrounded by tall hedges, blocked off by a large gate, and completely hidden from view from the street.
The compound is home to multiple dwellings, including two guesthouses and a 13,600-square-foot mansion. The estate also features a pool, tennis court, and manicured gardens, as well as a nine-hole golf course and a "motor court" with its own garage and gas pumps, according to Architectural Digest.
In July 2020, Bezos appeared to make another purchase, this time right next door: a $10 million home that shares a hedge line with the Warner estate. According to property records viewed by both Variety and Daily Mail, Bezos is the new owner of the 1930s-era home on a side street in Beverly Hills' Benedict Canyon neighborhood.
In February 2021, Bezos made a major career move: He announced that he would step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of that year.
The move became official on July 5, 2021, with Andy Jassy — then the CEO of Amazon Web Services — taking his place at the helm of Amazon.
Almost immediately after his departure from Amazon became official, Bezos headed for outer space.
In July 2021, Bezos lifted off aboard a Blue Origin rocket in the company's first human spaceflight.
Bezos was accompanied by his brother, Mark, 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and Dutch teen Oliver Daemen on the quick voyage to the edge of space.
Sanchez was in attendance, embracing Bezos after he safely touched down on Earth.
A few months later, Bezos expanded his real estate empire once again when he and Sanchez purchased a home on Maui, Hawaii.
The home, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum in October 2021, is located in an isolated area on the island's south shore and is near lava fields, Pacific Business News reported.
"Jeff and Lauren love Maui, have a home on the island, visit frequently, and want to be a part of supporting the local community," an unnamed person close to the couple told PBN at the time.
Bezos had made several donations to local organizations in the weeks leading up the report of his new home purchase on the island, including to organizations that support women and children that have experienced abuse or homelessness and a substance abuse treatment center.
Bezos and Sanchez have continued traveling the world, most recently to London.
Bezos took a private tour of Buckingham Palace, where "he showed a particular interest in the Throne Room and Ballroom," The Sun reported.
He and Sanchez were later spotted having dinner at the The Twenty Two hotel in Mayfair with actor Tom Cruise.
The couple now spends their time criss-crossing the globe, distributing funds through their philanthropic endeavors, and hanging out with their blended family, Sanchez told The Wall Street Journal.
The couple is often spotted abroad, as well as attending high-profile parties and galas. But according to Sanchez, when they're spending time at home, it's low-key.
"On a typical Saturday, we hang out, we have dinner with the kids, which is always fun because you never know where the conversation is going to go with this many kids," Sanchez told The Journal. "We are the Brady Bunch!"
Meanwhile, Sanchez now serves as vice chair of the Bezos Earth Fund, a $10 billion commitment to combating climate change; is working on a children's book; and formed a new production company called Adventure & Fellowship, which produces promotional films for several of Bezos' endeavors, including Blue Origin and the Bezos Earth Fund.
And in early 2024, she plans to lead an all-woman mission aboard a Blue Origin rocket.
Bezos and Sanchez have recently been spending some of their time onboard his new $500 million megayacht.
The couple was spotted sunbathing on the 417-foot watercraft in May 2023. In some of the photographs of them onboard the yacht, Sanchez is seen sporting a big diamond ring on her left ring finger.
There's also been speculation that the figurehead on Bezos' yacht, of a woman with long hair in a flowing dress, is supposed to be Sanchez.
Bezos and Sanchez are now reportedly engaged.
CNN, Page Six, People, the Daily Mail, and TMZ all reported Monday that the two had gotten engaged, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Bezos and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.