It was in 1992, when Jeff Bezos was working for D. E. Shaw in Manhattan, New York City, when he met novelist MacKenzie Tuttle, who was at the time, a research associate at the firm.
After the couple married a year later, they moved to Seattle, Washington, where Bezos founded Amazon. The couple led a happy family with four children: three sons, and one adopted daughter from China.
25 years later, on January 9th, 2019, Bezos and MacKenzie announced on Twitter about their intention to divorce after a "long period" of separation.
The divorce was finalized on April 4th, with MacKenzie getting 25 percent of the couple's joint Amazon stock worth $35.6 billion, while Bezos keeping 75 percent, “to support his continued contributions with the teams of these incredible companies,” said MacKenzie.
However, Bezos would keep all of the couple's voting rights. MacKenzie is also giving the executive all interest in the Bezos-owned Washington Post and privatized space company, Blue Origin.
The result of this divorce is that MacKenzie becomes the third-richest woman in the world, behind L’Oréal’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who is worth an estimated $52.9 billion at the time, and Walmart’s Alice Walton, who is worth $45 billion.
She also ranks as the world's 26th-richest person, ahead of Nike’s Phil Knight.
She explained that she is “grateful” at having finalized the dissolution process, adding “Excited about my own plans. Grateful for the past as I look forward to what comes next.”
Bezos on the other hand, left with $35 billion short, but still remains as the richest person on Earth, with a net worth above $110 billion, per early Thursday afternoon stock prices.
Bill Gates who is the co-founder of Microsoft, comes as the world’s second-wealthiest individual, with an estimated fortune worth $99.5 billion after briefly surpassing $100 billion for the second time a while earlier.
When Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced that they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage, soon after, the National Enquirer reported that the Amazon founder and CEO was having an extramarital affair with Lauren Sánchez, a former TV anchor, saying that it had obtained “raunchy messages and erotic selfies” the two exchanged.
Bezos then hired a team of investigators to determine who accessed his private messages, and later published a blog post accusing American Media Inc. owner David Pecker of “extortion and blackmail” for threatening to publish intimate photos.
Bezos said American Media Inc. had threatened to release the photos unless he agreed to stop investigating the leaks and made a public statement denying its coverage was politically motivated.
It was later revealed that Bezos' girlfriend was the person who first shared their texts, as well as pictures of Bezos with friends and others, before the accusations against Pecker.
Bezos’ personal investigator, Gavin de Becker, said that his team had concluded that Saudi Arabia "had access to Bezos’ phone, and gained private information.” He didn’t specify how the Saudis could have gained access to Bezos' phone, but the country has previously been accused of using spyware on its adversaries.
Saudi officials have denied that allegation.