Patrick Whitesell, the estranged husband of former television anchorwoman Lauren Sanchez, is a top powerbroker in Hollywood who represents some of the world’s biggest movie stars.
Sanchez’s name has surfaced in the wake of the divorce announcement by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie – who share a staggering $137 billion fortune and four children – revealed their split in a joint statement posted to Jeff Bezos’s Twitter account on January 9, 2019 the day before a tabloid story was about to hit the newsstands.
Later in the day, Page Six alleged that Jeff Bezos is involved romantically with Sanchez and that both couples had been separated at the time. None of the parties involved has confirmed that account.
Bezos is the world’s richest man, but Whitesell is also a very powerful, extremely wealthy heavyweight, albeit in a completely different realm: representing talent. He is Co‐CEO of WME – William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC – a powerful talent agency in Hollywood that represents some of the nation’s biggest stars.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sanchez & Bezos Became an Item After Whitesell & Sanchez Broke Up, Some Reports Claim
Page Six reported on January 9, 2019 that Bezos is allegedly involved with Lauren Sanchez, described as “a former TV anchor and the glamorous wife of Hollywood talent mogul Patrick Whitesell.”
She is a helicopter pilot who once anchored Fox’s Good Day LA, Page Six reports. An anonymous source initially told Page Six, “Patrick and Lauren Sanchez have been separated for a while. Their marriage has been off and on for a while, and they tried hard to fix things, but in the fall they officially separated. She had told Patrick that she has been recently seeing Jeff Bezos.” None of the parties has confirmed the Bezos/Sanchez relationship.
According to Page Six, the couples initially socialized together and, then, Jeff Bezos hired Lauren to take aerial shots of his space launch enterprise. The Hollywood Reporter noted that “the Whitesells have been frequent guests to Bezos’ Seattle home.” The Whitesells also have a home in Seattle, TMZ reports.
However, the tabloid National Enquirer painted a steamier picture in a salacious expose set to run the day after the Bezos divorce announcement, which the Enquirer claims Bezos was trying to preempt.
Page Six alleged in a follow-up story that it had learned “the Enquirer has been tracking the couple for four months, and on Wednesday (January 9, 2019) they posted pictures of the pair, and said that over the course of four months, their reporters had tracked the couple ‘across five states and 40,000 miles.'”
The Hollywood Reporter says that Lauren Sanchez has also appeared on Extra. She has a company called Black Ops Aviation, according to THR, which added that her projects included the Christopher Nolan movie, Dunkirk, and commercials. TMZ reports that Sanchez also appeared on So You Think You Can Dance.
TMZ reported through sources that Bezos and Sanchez didn’t become involved until each couple had separated. TMZ claimed that Patrick Whitesell and MacKenzie Bezos were already aware of the relationship for months, which is different than the picture the tabloid is trying to paint.
2. Whitesell Is an Agent to Top Hollywood Stars, such as Matt Damon & Christian Bale & Worked His Way Up From the Mailroom
Name a name in Hollywood, and there’s a good chance that Patrick Whitesell has represented that celebrity during his lengthy career as a talent agency and agency co-CEO.
Page Six describes Whitesell as “one of Hollywood’s most powerful men and agent to stars including Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Kevin Costner, Hugh Jackman, plus a host of other A-listers.”
The Hollywood Reporter added other stars to Whitesell’s roster, including Michelle Williams, Ryan Reynolds, Jared Leto, and John Krasinski, star of Amazon’s Jack Ryan series. The latter is interesting since Bezos obviously founded Amazon. Whitesell’s roster is basically a who’s who of Hollywood. Add names like Denzel Washington, Jessica Alba, and Jennifer Garner to the list too with a host of others.
The WME website explains that the company was created after a merger. “Formed in 1898, William Morris Agency is the longest-running talent agency,” its website reads. “In 2009, WMA merged with Endeavor to become one of the leading entertainment and media companies with an unparalleled list of artists and content creators. In 2014, WME acquired IMG, the global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, forming Endeavor.” Whitesell joined Endeavor in 2011, bringing with him such stars as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Hugh Jackman, according to the WME website.
Today he’s co-CEO of WME with legendary agent Ari Emanuel, of William Morris, the site reports. “William Morris acquired IMG for $2.4 billion in 2013 and the company is known today as WME-IMG,” according to Celebrity Net Worth, which estimates that Whitesell owns about 10 percent of the new merged company. It’s believed that Emanuel inspired the Entourage character of Ari Gold (and is the brother of Chicago’s mayor).
Daily Variety reports that Patrick Whitesell has been the executive chairman of “media powerhouse Endeavor, with 6,000-plus employees in 200 offices and 20 countries around the world,” and Whitesell helps “oversee a portfolio of more than 25 companies, including WME, IMG and UFC. Under his leadership, Endeavor’s entertainment, sports and fashion representation businesses lead their respective markets.”
According to Bloomberg, Whitesell’s story is the classic from the mailroom to the boardroom story. “Mr. Whitesell began his career at InterTalent in the 1990s, where he worked his way up from the mailroom. He then moved to Creative Artists Agency where he served as Head of the Talent Department. Mr. Whitesell has been Director of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC since May 27, 2009,” Bloomberg reports.
3. Patrick Whitesell Was Born in 2005 & Has Two Children With Lauren Sanchez
Patrick Whitesell was born in 1965 in Iowa Falls, Iowa, according to his IMDB profile. The profile says he married Lauren Sanchez in 2005 and has two children with her. Fast Company has described Whitesell as “a lanky Iowan with all-American good looks.”
He was born into a family of six brothers. One of his brothers, Sean David Gerard Whitesell, was a television writer and actor in shows like Oz who died at age 52 of cancer.
The Whitesell children are still relatively young. Their son was born in 2006, and their daughter was born in 2008, according to IMDB. Lauren Sanchez also has a son from another relationship. The father of that boy is NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez.
The New York Post describes Whitesell as having a reputation as a “fierce negotiator” and says that his company led an effort to acquire the Ultimate Fighting Championship for $4 billion.
4. Patrick Whitesell Is Also Extremely Wealthy
Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man. However, Patrick Whitesell is no slouch in the wealth department, either. According to Celebrity Net Worth, he’s got his own estimated $300 million fortune and pulls in a salary of $10 million.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lauren and Patrick Whitesell married in an elaborate $2 million Santa Barbara affair and acquired multiple properties during the marriage.
Although their riches pale in comparison to that of Jeff Bezos (which is true of everyone on the planet), Lauren and Patrick already lived lives of luxury. The couple purchased an $11 million mansion in Beverly Hills.
5. MacKenzie Bezos Was With Bezos From the Start of His Journey to Riches & They Have Four Children Together
Jeff Bezos’s family includes four children, one of whom was adopted from China. “We want to make people aware of a development in our lives,” Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos revealed in their divorce announcement. “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.”
The couple had only kind words to say about each other. “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again,” the statement read.
“We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures. Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”
MacKenzie Bezos once defended her husband in a review she wrote on a book called The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. In it, she explained how she was there in the early years of Amazon. “I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff (Bezos) at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history. Jeff and I have been married for 20 years,” she wrote.
According to The Washington Post, MacKenzie is “a novelist whose books have earned admiring reviews.” The Hollywood Reporter reports that D.E. Shaw was a bank where MacKenzie also worked and her books include Traps and The Testing of Luther Albright. She “served as one of Amazon’s first employees,” THR adds.
“I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her résumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were,” Bezos once joked to Vogue Magazine. You can read more biography on MacKenzie Bezos here.
MacKenzie told Vogue Magazine in 2013 that she and her husband were opposites in some ways.
“Jeff is the opposite of me,” she told the magazine. “He likes to meet people. He’s a very social guy. Cocktail parties for me can be nerve-racking. The brevity of conversations, the number of them—it’s not my sweet spot.”
Danny Hills, a friend, told Vogue that MacKenzie was a stabilizing influence. “Family is very important to Jeff, and he absolutely relies on her to create that stable home life. They are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal,” he told Vogue well before the marriage crumbled.
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