How Lauren Sanchez went from LA news host to Jeff Bezo’s girlfriend

From morning news anchor and reality TV host to girlfriend of the world’s richest man: How Lauren Sanchez launched a Hollywood career, was a single mother and then tied the knot in front of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck before falling for the Amazon CEO

  • Sources claim Sanchez and Bezos began dating while both were still married 
  • Sanchez, 49, was married to agent Patrick Whitesell for 13 years and share 2 kids
  • Bezos, 54, only announced his split from wife Mackenzie on Wednesday night 
  • Sanchez grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, went to USC on scholarship 
  • Began working at local LA station before moving to Extra and Fox Sports Net
  • Was previously engaged to actor Henry Simmons, became a single mom after giving birth to son Nico with former NFL player Tony Gonzalez in 2001 
  • Hosted first season of So You Think You Can Dance, appeared in various films  
  • Then launched her own aerial production company, which is how she met Bezos 

After decades of work as a morning news anchor, Lauren Sanchez is clearly comfortable in front of a camera. 

But now the former Good Day LA host is finding out what it’s like to be at the center of a news story after it was revealed she is currently in a relationship with Jeff Bezos. 

Steamy texts have been released and rumors of an eight-month affair between the pair began to swirl ever since Bezos announced his split from wife Mackenzie on Wednesday. 

But just who is Lauren Sanchez and how did she go from hosting local news to becoming the front page story of the National Enquirer? 

Former morning news anchor Lauren Sanchez is now making national news after it was revealed she is dating Jeff Bezos (pictured together with her estranged husband Patrick Whitesell in 2016) 

Steamy texts have been released and rumors of an eight-month affair between the pair are swirling ever since Bezos announced his split from wife Mackenzie on Wednesday

Sanchez, 49, is a third-generation Mexican American who was born ‘Wendy Lauren Sanchez’ and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

She headed to California after graduation, attending El Camino community college before receiving a scholarship to the University of Southern California. 

Sanchez, a third-generation Mexican American, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico

‘We can from nothing,’ Sanchez told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. ‘I used to sleep in the back of my grandmother’s car when she would go clean houses.’ 

While at USC, Sanchez landed an internship as a desk assistant at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles. 

She moved to Phoenix after graduation to work as an anchor and reporter at KTVK-TV before moving onto national gigs at Extra and Fox Sports Net. 

‘When I first became a reporter, I did it because there was no one else I thought that looked like me,’ Sanchez told Extra in 2018. 

Sanchez returned to KCOP in 1999 and was named the 11pm anchor, making her the first Hispanic female to ever hold the honor. 

‘I was just trying to make my way. I was just trying to get through,’ Sanchez told the Reporter. 

‘I never really thought about it until people started saying, “Wow, this is kind of a big deal.”‘ 

She headed to California after graduation, attending the El Camino community college before receiving a scholarship to the University of Southern California

Sanchez became a single mom after giving birth to son Nico with former NFL player Tony Gonzalez in 2001. She is pictured here with Nico in 2003 

Sanchez nabbed hosting gigs at local Los Angeles news stations and Extra and became the  first host of Fox’s hit reality show So You Think You Can Dance (pictured) 

Sanchez (pictured in 2003) also made history when she was named the first Hispanic female to ever hold the anchor seat at KCOP in 1999

Lauren (pictured in 2004) was actually born ‘Wendy Lauren Sanchez’. Wendy is rumored to be the code name that Bezos used for her 

‘We can from nothing,’ Sanchez (pictured in 2003) told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. ‘I used to sleep in the back of my grandmother’s car when she would go clean houses’

Sanchez became the first host of Fox’s reality show So You Think You Can Dance, but was replaced after the first season by English model and TV host Cat Deeley. 

Sanchez is pictured here during a recent vacation with her sister 

Four years later, Sanchez considered taking legal action against the network when So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe joked she was let go from the show because she had been pregnant at the time. 

‘I always wanted you for the show,’ he told Sanchez during an Extra interview in 2010. 

‘It was [Fox president of alternative programming] Mike Darnell who said, “No, she’s pregnant we’ve got to let her go”. I mean, that should be illegal.’ 

Sanchez later told RumorFix that finding out she was fired because of her pregnancy was ‘devastating’. 

She retained famous attorney Gloria Allred, but learned the statue of limitations had expired. Fox maintained that Lythoe’s comments had been made in jest. 

Sanchez took a break from her career for several years as she built a family with Patrick Whitesell, one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood. 

The pair tied the knot in 2005 at a star-studded wedding in Santa Barbara that was packed with many of Whitesell’s biggest clients. 

‘Matt and Ben don’t get to see each other often, so we sat them together,’ Sanchez told People at the time, referring to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. 

Also on the guest list was Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, and Hugh Jackman. 

The pair did a ‘sexy rumba’ for their first dance, choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance’s Mary Murphy, and shared a passionate kiss at the altar. 

Sanchez took a break from her career for several years as she built a family with Patrick Whitesell, one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood (pictured together in 2004)


It seemed like a dream come true for Sanchez, who had previously been engaged to NYPD Blue actor Henry Simmons (right in 2003) and dated Tony Gonzalez, a former tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs (left in 2002)

Sanchez (pictured in 2010) happily gave interviews to People about seating Matt Damon and Ben Affleck together for their star-studded wedding 

‘The kiss was long. You could tell they’re in love,’ wedding planner Marianne Weiman-Nelson recalled. 

It seemed like a dream come true for Sanchez, who had previously been engaged to NYPD Blue actor Henry Simmons and shares son Nico, now 17, with ex-boyfriend Tony Gonzalez, a former tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

After giving birth to Evan, now 12, and Ella, 10, Sanchez returned to Extra as a weekend anchor and special correspondent and began co-hosting Good Day La from 2011 to 2017.

She also made a number of appearances on the big screen, portraying a news anchor for movies including White House Down, Ted 2, and We Bought A Zoo. 

But even as her hosting career flourished, Sanchez was finding out she was happiest behind the camera – and above the ground. 

She started flying planes in 2011 and by 2016 Sanchez had launched Black Ops Aviation, her own film aerial production company. 

Sanchez took a break from the spotlight after she fell pregnant with their first child (pictured together in 2006) 

After giving birth to Evan, now 12, and Ella, 10, Sanchez returned to Extra as a weekend anchor and special correspondent

Sanchez and Whitesell are seen with actor Casey Affleck at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Sanchez and Whitesell walked many red carpets together. They are pictured here at a 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar Party 

‘I had my job, I had a career, and then I found a calling,’ she said. ‘I loved entertainment and I loved filming, and so I got to combine all of it.’ 

‘Only six percent of pilots are women, and there’s even less in the film industry. So I was like, I want to film movies, that’s what I want to do.’ 

Sanchez served as a consultant for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, and most recently worked as an aerial producer for the upcoming Miss Bala starring Gina Rodriguez. 

‘I’m living my dream,’ she told Extra last year. ‘Everyone says, follow your passion. I loved being on camera and now I still have a camera, it’s just 3,000 feet in the air.’ 

Sanchez also began co-hosting Good Day La from 2011 to 2017. She is pictured here on Good Day LA with Hugh Jackman, a former guest at her wedding, in 2011 

Sanchez is seen with Pauly D and her co-host Steve Edwards on Good Day LA in April 2012

Sanchez is seen clapping during a Good Day LA segment with chef Tyler Florence in June 2011 


Sanchez also made a number of appearances on the big screen, portraying a news anchor for movies including White House Down, Ted 2, and We Bought A Zoo

But back on earth, Sanchez is left answering questions about just when her relationship with Bezos began.  

She started flying planes in 2011 and by 2016 Sanchez had launched Black Ops Aviation, her own film aerial production company.

It was previously reported that the pair have been dating since June, months before Sanchez separated from Whitesell in the fall and nine months before Bezos announced he was splitting with Mackenzie.  

Bezos, 54, and Sanchez have both denied cheating on their spouses since details of their romance emerged on Wednesday evening.

According to the Enquirer, the pair met several times for illicit trysts as often as six times in two weeks.

He reportedly took her on vacations on his $65million private jet and sent her erotic selfies that were ‘too explicit’ even for the magazine to print.

A source close to Bezos told DailyMail.com that the Amazon founder only began seeing Sanchez after separating from his wife – however the National Enquirer claims the affair went on behind their spouses’ backs.

Sanchez is seen here while attending the Larry King Live: Disaster in the Gulf Telethon in 2011

But back on earth, Sanchez (pictured in 2012) is left answering questions about just when her relationship with Bezos began

A source close to Bezos told DailyMail.com that the Amazon founder only began seeing Sanchez after separating from his wife – however the National Enquirer claims the affair went on behind their spouses’ backs


Sources claim that Sanchez only started seeing Bezos after splitting from Whitesell in the fall (they are pictured right in 2009 and left in 2011)

Bezos released a statement announcing their divorce on his Twitter account yesterday in a bid to present the news in a favorable light.

He and his wife described each other as ‘cherished friends’ and gave the impression their break-up was amicable.


  • REVEALED: The shirtless selfies, a photo of his genitals and…


    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos ‘has been having an eight month affair…

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‘If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again,’ they said in a joint statement. 

Sanchez is said to have met Bezos while her company was shooting aerial video for his side venture Blue Origin. 

She was publicly spotted alongside the online retail mogul as recently as Amazon’s Golden Globes party on Sunday.  

It was previously reported that the pair have been dating since June, nine months before Bezos announced on Twitter that he was splitting with Mackenzie (pictured together last year) 

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