- Stefanie Keenan/WireImage
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in January that he and his wife, MacKenzie, were divorcing.
- Hours later, reports surfaced in the tabloid press that Bezos had been dating the former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Since then, Bezos and Sanchez have made multiple public appearances.
- Sanchez has a pretty cool life.
- Besides her TV career, she is a licensed helicopter pilot, founded her own aerial filming company, and has starred in movies including “Fight Club.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Hours after Jeff Bezos announced he and his wife, MacKenzie, were divorcing in January, the tabloid press was buzzing with stories about the Amazon CEO’s new romance.
The National Enquirer ran the story having infamously obtained the couple’s intimate texts as well as sensitive naked pictures which Bezos alleges the Enquirer used to try to blackmail him.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos finalized their divorce six months later – with the $38 billion making MacKenzie Bezos the third-richest woman alive.
Sanchez, who has been in the public eye for much of her career, seems to lead a pretty cool life. Here are seven fast facts about the TV star turned pilot:
1. She had a long career as a reporter and news anchor
Sanchez started her journalistic career as an intern on the Los Angeles station Channel 13 while on scholarship at the University of Southern California, according to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
She went on to be a host at various news channels, becoming a longtime coanchor on Fox 11’s “Good Day LA,” and appearing as a host and correspondent on “Extra.”
2. She’s a licensed plane and helicopter pilot
Sanchez learned how to fly while working as a news anchor, and she started flying planes in 2011 before going on to get her helicopter pilot’s license in 2016.
Her interest in aviation seems to have been sparked at an early age, as her father was a flight instructor and mechanic who rebuilt planes.
“I was always in the hangar growing up but knew nothing about flying,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
3. She founded her own aerial filming company
Sanchez founded Black Ops Aviation in 2016, a “female owned and operated” aerial filming company, which has shot footage for Amazon, Netflix, and Fox, among others.
You can watch the company’s demo reel here:
Sanchez also lent her aerial-filming knowledge to Christopher Nolan as a consultant on “Dunkirk.”
4. She’s played a news anchor in a bunch of movies and TV shows
As well as being an anchor in real life, Sanchez has starred as a news anchor in movies including “Fight Club,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and “The Fantastic Four,” according to IMDB.
5. She used to host a dancing reality show, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’
Sanchez was a host on the first series of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” but she reportedly left the show after the first season to have her second child.
6. She was married to Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell, but has reportedly filed for divorce
Whitesell is co-CEO of the Hollywood agency WME, and his clients include Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Hugh Jackman. Whitesell and Sanchez married in 2005, and sources told the New York Post that they separated in the fall.
TMZ reported in April that Sanchez has filed for divorce from Whitesell. While neither half of the couple have given a public statement on the divorce, Page Six reported that it was Whitesell who gave Sanchez and Bezos tickets to Wimbledon, as his company represents Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic.
7. Her brother is deeply enmeshed in the story of how the National Enquirer got ahold of her and Jeff Bezos’ texts
Jeff Bezos’ private investigator Gavin de Becker identified Michael Sanchez as the source of the leak to the National Enquirer in an article for the Daily Beast. Sanchez told Fox News that he “did a deal with the devil” with the National Enquirer, but has repeatedly insisted he did so to protect his sister’s relationship.
While Michael Sanchez describes himself as close with the couple, de Becker said he was “estranged” from Lauren.
De Becker added that the Enquirer was unusually eager to give up their source. “First through strong hints they gave to me, and later through direct statements, AMI practically pinned a ‘kick me’ sign on Michael Sanchez,” he wrote.