It is not just SpaceX founder Elon Musk who has trouble with gossip about his love life. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon multi-billionaire and founder of SpaceX’s competitor Blue Origin, has found himself mired in gossip column allegations and potential law suits. This follows the announcement of his imminent divorce from his wife Mackenzie, which is likely to cost him half of his reported US$137 billion fortune.

The divorce was said to have been brought on as the result of the imminent publication, by the National Enquirer magazine, of details of an extra-marital affair Bezos had allegedly been having with glamorous former TV presenter Lauren Sanchez. Bezos hired a private detective to investigate how details of the affair, including electronic messages, had been discovered.

In response, American Media Inc (AMI) – the firm that owns the National Enquirer – allegedly threatened to publish “intimate” images of Bezos and Sanchez in what Bezos claims is a kind of blackmail unless he publicly refutes his allegation that the firm was politically inspired to conspire and campaign against him.

Jeff Bezos owns the influential Washington Post newspaper, and Bezos claims that AMI has close links to US President Donald Trump, who does not hold the Washington Post’s coverage of him in high regard.

Fox Business report speculating about how Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos (shown) will split his wealth. Courtesy: FoxBusiness.com

Comment by David Todd:  Under the golden rule of treating others as you would like to be treated, private lives – even of the rich and famous – should generally be left private. Likewise, commenting on and moralising over the actions of others always carries the danger of sanctimony and even hypocrisy. Nevertheless, we report the story above as this distracting affair is apparently having an effect on Bezos and the companies he runs. An immediate example of this was, according to FoxBusiness, Bezos’ decision to “pull” a planned US$20 million TV advertisement for Blue Origin during the American Football “Superbowl” final because his mistress Lauren Sanchez had been involved in its production.