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Jeff Bezos announces divorce amid reports he was seeing another woman

The settlement could be historically large

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, announced Wednesday that he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting a divorce after 25 years of marriage, according to Forbes.

Although the two did not cite a reason for the split in their announcement, reports that Jeff Bezos had been dating former television anchor Lauren Sanchez for months surfaced later in the day.

The couple's statement, which was posted on Jeff Bezos' Twitter, portrayed an amicable split.

"We have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," the statement read. "If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again."

Bezos said he and his wife had been going through a "long period of loving exploration and trial separation." They have four children.

About his relationship with Sanchez: Page Six reported that Bezos had been secretly seeing Sanchez, a helicopter pilot, who is the wife of Hollywood mogul Patrick Whitesell. The two reportedly met through Whitesell. Sanchez and Whitesell have been separated for some time, according to Page Six.

Lots of assets on the line: Bezos is worth about $137 billion, and owns 16 percent of Amazon, which is the most valuable company in the world.

Washington's "community property state" laws mean divorcing couples without a pre-existing agreement split assets 50/50, but it's unclear what the arrangement between Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos is.

Theoretically, if MacKenzie got half of Bezos' worth, he would drop to being the fifth-richest person in the world, while she would immediately become the richest woman in the world.

"Most likely they have already resolved the financial aspects of the case before they made the announcement," said Marilyn Cinita, a high profile divorce litigator who has worked with celebrities.

One last thing…
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