Who Is Lauren Sanchez? All About the News Anchor Dating Billionaire Jeff Bezos
The 49-year-old reporter is also divorcing her husband of 13 years, Patrick Whitesell, one of Hollywood’s most powerful agents, PEOPLE confirms.
A source tells PEOPLE Sanchez and Bezos have been spending more time together in recent months.
“Lauren and Jeff have been spending a lot of time together over the last year and especially the past few months,” the source says. “At first it was socially at parties… here and there. But their time together has definitely seemed to evolve, raising some eyebrows. Jeff has met a small group of Lauren’s girlfriends, too. The two of them are sort of thick as thieves right now.”
Here’s everything to know about the former Good Day LA co-host.
1. Sanchez and Whitesell have been friendly with Bezos in the past
The trio was photographed together in 2016 at a holiday party for Manchester by the Sea which was produced by Matt Damon (one of Whitesell’s clients) and distributed by Bezos’ Amazon.
Sources also tell PEOPLE Bezos and Sanchez looked friendly at a Golden Globes afterparty on Sunday.
“Patrick and Lauren have been on and off for a while and have been separated. [Patrick] knew they were seeing each other,” an insider tells PEOPLE.
2. Her wedding to Whitesell was a star-studded occasion
Sanchez and Whitesell tied the knot in 2005, which was attended by several of Whitesell’s clients, including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
“Matt and Ben don’t get to see each other often, so we sat them together,” she told PEOPLE at the time. Also in attendance were Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba and Hugh Jackman, who sang “Mack the Knife.”
The couple treated their guests to a sexy rumba choreographed by Mary Murphy, a choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance.
“I’d always ask my friends, ‘How do you know it’s the right one?’” Sanchez said. “Then when I met Patrick, I told them, ‘I so get it.’”
3. Sanchez has had a long career in television
Los Angeles TV audiences might be familiar with Sanchez through her work as a former co-host on Fox’s Good Day LA from 2011 to 2017. She has also appeared on Extra as an entertainment reporter.
In 2005, Sanchez became the original host of the dancing competition series So You Think You Can Dance, but left the show after one season to have her second child. She has also appeared as a guest co-host on The View.
The mother of three has also featured in films such as The Longest Yard, The Day After Tomorrow, Fight Club and Ted 2.
4. She’s a pilot who now flies helicopters for movies
On top of being a news anchor and mother, Sanchez also specializes in aerial filming and served as a consultant on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I had my job, I had a career, and then I found a calling,” she told the publication. “I loved entertainment and I loved filming, and so I got to combine all of it.”
She earned her helicopter pilot’s license in June 2016 and created Black Ops Aviation, an aerial film and production company.
Sanchez told THR she regularly flies with her kids. “I want to be in a helicopter all the time,” she said. “Life can be so chaotic with so much going on. Lift off and you’re in an energy space that no one else is in. It’s calming. When I’m up there, I’m completely satisfied. I’m like, ‘This is where I need to be.'”
The pilot was also hired to film aerial shots for Bezos’ company Blue Origin, according to Page Six.
She recently worked as an aerial producer in Catherine Hardwicke’s upcoming Miss Bala starring Gina Rodriguez.