Two years and a global pandemic ago, news broke that the world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, had been having an extramarital affair with former newscaster Lauren Sanchez, leading to a divorce from his wife MacKenzie, to whom he’d been married for 25 years.
The tryst was exposed in the ugliest way possible. Supermarket newsstand tabloid The National Enquirer published racy texts and suggestive photos Bezos sent to Sanchez, and almost instantly the search was on for the person who leaked the embarrassing info, to which only a small handful of people would have had access. Michael Sanchez, Lauren Sanchez’s brother and confidant, was believed by many to be the most obvious culprit, but this week, new claims came to light. As the Daily Beast reports, Nikolaos Tzima Hatziefstathiou, the journalist who covered the story for the Enquirer, has claimed that the individual who first brought the affair to the taboid’s attention was none other than Hollywood super agent and Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell, Lauren Sanchez’s then-husband.
Why would one of Hollywood’s top players—who reps Gal Gadot, Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Ben Affleck, Joaquin Phoenix, and others—want to expose his wife’s affair? Wasn’t it potentially embarrassing to him and their children? In an affidavit filed by attorneys representing Michael Sanchez, Hatziefstathiou claims Whitesell wanted out of his marriage and this was the easiest way to do it.
The filing reads: “Mr. Whitesell discovered the Affair, and by serving as AMI’s (then the name of the National Enquirer’s parent company) secret, undisclosed source, literally turned the divorce into a ‘get out of divorce free’ card via a pre-divorce, in which he appears blameless and scandal-free, just months before WME’s planned initial public offering.”
A spokesman for Whitesell released the following statement to the Daily Beast: “This is categorically untrue, and unfortunately not the first time we have seen this desperate attempt from Michael Sanchez to perpetuate this odd and tiresome circus. The fact that Patrick has been implicated in this bizarre series of lawsuits and incriminations is a direct result of the character of those involved and is completely disconnected from reality. Any suggestion to the contrary is malicious and libelous.”
It’s also been pointed out that Hatziefstathiou has a shaky background at best: he faced multiple criminal counts for posing as a New York Times reporter, and also reportedly caused a disturbance at a neighbor’s home by sending dozens of prostitutes there and then reported the manufactured disturbance to the police. As yet, Hatziefstathiou hasn’t produced evidence of Whitesell’s involvement, but says he has at least a million documents to support his claims.
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