Anyone who chanced upon Jeff Bezos’ selfies aboard a luxury yacht in St-Barths earlier this month would have been forgiven for doing a double take.
In mirrored heart-shaped shades and a silk shirt so tight it might have been tattooed on to the 57-year-old’s torso, the Amazon boss looked more like US rapper Pitbull than the one-time monobrowed tech nerd who achieved global domination in a pair of high-waisted beige chinos.
But it was the stunning brunette wrapped around him on the 88-foot vessel, Tender To – which cost a meager £31,000 a week to charter – who completed the new look. In a backless, cutaway metallic 1970s jumpsuit that left little to the imagination, Lauren Sanchez discoed her way into 2022.
As well she might. After all, if Forbes were to publish a ‘Most Powerful Girlfriends’ issue, this 52-year-old media personality would be at the top of the list.
Beneath Bezos’ New Year selfie – the caption celebrating ‘personal growth, renewal, rebirth’ – his girlfriend of three years (according to official timelines at least) commented: ‘I love you baby. For every reason and no reason.’
Although when Bezos (now 58) and Sanchez first came out as a couple at Wimbledon in July 2019, cynics speculated that there might be 114 billion reasons why the striking journalist might have fallen for the tech mogul and owner of space tourism outfit Blue Origin – and a spate of predictable headlines ensued.
It had only been six months since Bezos and ex-wife MacKenzie Scott had announced the end of their marriage in a heartfelt tweet assuring people, ‘If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.’
MacKenzie Scott – now the third richest woman in the US – has since married their children’s science teacher, Dan Jewett; and anyone zooming in on paparazzi pictures of Sanchez on that yacht will have noticed that her left hand was weighed down by a huge yellow heart-shaped ring, fueling rumors that 2022 is the year Bezos and Sanchez will make their union official.
Born to second-generation Mexican American parents – Eleanor and Ray Sanchez – in Albuquerque, Sanchez has been a familiar TV face in the US for decades.
‘When I first became a reporter,’ she later said in a 2018 interview with British entertainment reporter Mark Wright, ‘I did it because there was no one else [out there] that looked like me.’
Ever since that giant bauble appeared on Sanchez’s finger, however, the questions have moved on, from ‘will they, or won’t they?’ to what kind of influence Mrs Bezos II might have on her husband – beyond that 360-degree transformation from dweeb-suited executive to buff and swarthy playboy.
It was after meeting Sanchez that Bezos set up the Bezos Earth Fund where she is listed as vice chair.
Since then, he has committed to hand out over $10 billion to help fight climate change and protect nature through a variety of global programs set out by the initiative, which has also started to focus more on how pollution and environmental degradation disproportionately harm low-income neighborhoods and other vulnerable groups.
Bezos certainly has a vested personal interest in that now; even if, from what one can tell, Sanchez seems to have encouraged the one-time workaholic to be more spontaneous and eke as much joy out of daily life as he can.