Lauren Sanchez was once a budding TV star who was desperate to break into the industry after suffering from an undiagnosed learning disability for years and being turned away from her dream job at The View.
Now, she’s one of the most well-known faces on the planet, often mingling with Hollywood’s biggest A-listers and attending the most exclusive events alongside her billionaire Amazon founder fiancé, Jeff Bezos, 59, who is worth approximately $167 billion.
Just this week, the journalist, 53, landed the cover of one of the most coveted magazines in the world of fashion – Vogue – and was spotted celebrating her engagement to Jeff among her vast group of celebrity pals, including Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Jessica Alba, and Robert Pattinson.
So how did go from a struggling reporter to a starlet who mingles with Tinseltown’s most elite? While her romance with Jeff certainly cemented her status, Lauren’s rise to the top actually started long before they met.
Ever since her relationship with Jeff Bezos was exposed, Lauren Sanchez has become a top Hollywood star – mingling with other A-listers and attending exclusive events
Just this week, the journalist, 53, landed the cover of Vogue and was spotted celebrating her engagement to Jeff among her vast group of celebrity pals (seen)
New Mexico-based Lauren longed to be a successful newscaster from early on, but thanks to her struggle with dyslexia, she decided to give up on that dream and instead pursue a career in aviation after finishing high school.
She moved to LA to apply for a job as a stewardess – but was left heartbroken when she was turned away and told she was ‘too big’ to be a flight attendant, despite only weighing 121 pounds.
But a determined Lauren used her devastation as fuel, and when she turned her focus back to journalism after that, she quickly rose through the ranks. She started at a small news outlet in Phoenix, Arizona, before moving to Extra, followed by Fox Sports Net and Good Day LA.
Thanks to her vivacious personality and flourishing job in the media, Lauren began slowly integrating herself into the celebrity world.
Before meeting Jeff, she was romantically linked to a slew of other stars, including an actor, two famous athletes, and a top CEO of a major talent agency – but it was when her whirlwind affair with Jeff came to light in 2019 that she truly became the subject of the public’s interest.
It was revealed that they were dating while they were both married to other people, which ultimately led to them leaving their respective partners – and the scandalous start to their romance only propelled Lauren into mega-stardom even more.
It’s only natural that the world became fiercely fascinated with the woman who stole the heart of one of the richest men on the globe, especially since the couple was ultimately able to overcome the explosive cheating scandal and the accusations of blackmail and extortion that shrouded the start of their romance.
After four years of lavish getaways, private jet rides, dinner dates at the most sought-after restaurants in the world, designer shopping trips, yacht rides, and invites to parties amongst the top stars, Jeff and Lauren became engaged back in May.
As the couple gear up to walk down the aisle together and Lauren continues to make waves in the media, FEMAIL went ahead and recapped her journey from start to finish – from her roller-coaster quest to find love, which included multiple failed marriages and engagements, to her impressive takeover of Hollywood.
Lauren’s rise to the spotlight: After being told she was ‘too big’ to be a stewardess at age 18, she set out on becoming a journalist – but was left ‘devastated’ when she was turned down from The View
Lauren grew up in New Mexico, and dreamed of being a journalist from a young age – but because she suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia, she began to believe that she couldn’t do it
Lauren grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and dreamed of being a journalist from a young age – but because she suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia throughout her childhood, she began to believe that she couldn’t do it.
Instead, she decided she wanted to become a flight attendant, and at age 18, she moved to LA where she applied for a job as a Southwest Airlines stewardess – but was turned away because she was told she weighed too much. She is seen in the late 80s
Instead, she decided she wanted to become a flight attendant, and at age 18, after finishing high school, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she applied for a job as a Southwest Airlines stewardess.
However, the then-teenager, who weighed just over 120 pounds, told Wall Street Journal earlier this year that she was forced to stand on a scale during the interview process – a standard practice for flight attendants at the time – and she ultimately didn’t get the job because she was told she was too big.
‘Back then, they weighed you, and I weighed 121 pounds. They said, “You need to be 115,”‘ she recalled.
Unsure of where to turn, a heartbroken Lauren decided to go to back to school, and enrolled at El Camino College in Torrance, California.
It was there that she rediscovered her love for journalism after a teacher encouraged her to get tested for a learning disability and she finally realized that she was suffering from dyslexia.
‘[The teacher said], “You’re not dumb. You’re just dyslexic. Let me give you tools on how to write,”‘ she explained, adding that the professor gifted her a pocket dictionary to keep with her at all times.
‘It changed my life. I went from barely a 2.0 student to the dean’s list and got a scholarship to USC.’
Lauren transferred to University of Southern California in 1992, which she attended for two years while working as a desk assistant at the LA-based news company KCOP-TV.
In 1994, she left to school to pursue her career as a reporter full time after she was offered a job at KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona.
Unsure of where to turn, a heartbroken Lauren (seen in 1999) decided to go to back to school, which reignited her love of reporting. She then landed her first job at KTVK in Phoenix in 1994
In the years that followed, Sanchez moved around quite a bit – working briefly for Extra (seen) before heading to Fox Sports Net
In the years that followed, she moved around quite a bit – working briefly for Extra before heading to Fox Sports Net.
Around that time, she also auditioned for a seat on The View – and when she didn’t get the part, she admitted it was one of the ‘most devastating days of her life.’
She said she had bonded with creator Barbara during the audition process, who personally called her up herself to deliver the sad news herself, which resulted in her crying ‘for days.’ The position was ultimately given to Lisa Ling.
But according to Lauren, the advice that Barbara gave her throughout the process was something that stuck with her for years.
‘She really helped me with my career. Not only as someone I looked up to, but really guided me when I was up for The View,’ she revealed to WSJ.
‘Producers were trying to make me dress extra conservative and she saw me and said, “What happened?”
‘She said, “They will try and make you ordinary. Don’t let them. Then, if you fail, at least you fail as yourself.” I never forgot that.’
Around that time, she also auditioned for a seat on The View – and when she didn’t get the part, she admitted it was one of the ‘most devastating day of her life.’ She is seen in 1999
Lauren (seen in 2003) said the advice that Barbara Walters gave her stuck with her for years. She recalled the host telling her, ‘They will try and make you ordinary. Don’t let them’
Lauren then went on to host Good Day LA for six years before starting her own aerial film and production company called Black Ops Aviation.
Lauren went on to host Good Day LA for six years before starting her own aerial film and production company called Black Ops Aviation. She is seen on Good Day LA in 2011
She also served as the host on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance, and contributed to Larry King Live, The Joy Behar Show, and Showbiz Tonight over the years.
As for what she does now, she focuses much of her time on philanthropy, and serves as the vice chair of the Bezos Earth Fund – an organization started by her beau which is dedicated to ‘fighting climate change and protecting nature.’
She’s also working on writing her first children’s book called Flynn, The Fly Who Flew; recently launched another production company called Adventure & Fellowship; and is in the midst of planning an all-female mission to outer space on Bezos’ aerospace manufacturer company Blue Origin for early 2024.
In addition, she got her helicopter pilot’s license in 2016, and has a fierce passion for flying – something she once referred to as her ‘calling.’
Her roller-coaster journey to finding love: Lauren went through multiple failed marriages and engagements before meeting Jeff – and her list of exes includes an actor, famous athlete, and CEO
Lauren’s first boyfriend was sports broadcaster Rory Markas, who she met when she landed an internship at a Los Angeles TV station during college but dumped him when she switched jobs
Before meeting Jeff, Lauren had a roller-coaster quest to find love, filled with multiple failed marriages and engagements – and her list of exes include a slew of star-studded names, including an actor, famous athlete, and the head of a massive talent agency.
She then started dating NFL star Anthony Miller (seen in 1995), and they were together for four years before they split
Her first boyfriend was sports broadcaster Rory Markas, who she met when she landed an internship at a Los Angeles TV station during college.
The two even got engaged, but according to Page Six, she ultimately dumped Rory after she switched jobs.
She then started dating NFL star Anthony Miller, after the two met at the 1996 Super Bowl when he was playing for the Denver Broncos and she was a rising TV reporter.
The pair were together for four years and engaged for one and a half before Anthony claimed that Lauren broke things off.
He spoke about their romance – as well as their split – exclusively to DailyMail.com back in January 2019, and he alleged that Lauren cheated on him.
‘I couldn’t really trust her,’ he claimed.
‘She gets around. She was cheating on me with other guys.
‘I found out when I looked in her diary, and I found out more after I broke up with her.’
He also called Lauren ‘frugal’ and ‘really cheap,’ adding: ‘She wanted me to pay for everything.
‘She was making good money back then, reporting for Extra and on Fox Sports News, but she didn’t like paying.’
After she and Anthony went their separate ways, Lauren started a relationship with footballer Tony Gonzalez (seen together in 2002)
They welcomed a son, named Nikko Gonzalez, together in 2002 before splitting. She’s seen with Nikko in 2003
After that, she was reportedly linked to actor Henry Simmons, but very little is known about their romance. They’re seen together in 2003
Lauren then entered into a relationship with Hollywood agent and Endeavor talent agency co-founder Patrick Whitesell. They’re pictured in 2011
However, sources close to Lauren disputed Anthony’s claims, insisting to DailyMail.com that it was him who was unfaithful.
The two walked down the aisle together in 2005, and together, they had a son, named Evan Whitesell, in 2006 and a daughter, named Eleanor Whitesell, in 2008. The family is seen in 2011
Those insiders also called the athlete an ‘opportunist’ for speaking out about the relationship two decades later, right after Lauren’s affair with Jeff was revealed.
After she and Anthony went their separate ways, Lauren started a relationship with footballer Tony Gonzalez.
They welcomed a son, named Nikko Gonzalez, together in 2002 before splitting.
After that, she was reportedly linked to actor Henry Simmons, but very little is known about their romance.
Lauren then entered into a relationship with Hollywood agent and Endeavor talent agency cofounder Patrick Whitesell.
The two walked down the aisle together in 2005, and together, they had a son, named Evan Whitesell, in 2006 and a daughter, named Eleanor Whitesell, in 2008.
They were together for more than a decade up until her affair with Jeff was brought to light in early 2019.
Lauren and Jeff’s whirlwind affair: The couple’s romance was brought to light in 2019 and was shrouded in accusations of blackmail and extortion at first
Lauren and Jeff’s romance was first exposed by the National Enquirer in January 2019, while he was married to Mackenzie Scott (left) and she was married to Patrick (right)
While it’s unclear when exactly they started dating, Lauren and Jeff’s romance was first exposed by the National Enquirer in January 2019, while they were both married to their now-exes.
Soon after it was revealed, the billionaire businessman divorced his wife of more than 25 years and the mother of his four children, Mackenzie Scott, while Lauren left her husband, Patrick.
At the time, the bombshell report from the Enquirer claimed that Lauren and Jeff had been involved in an eight-month affair, which involved him ‘whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet, sending her raunchy messages and erotic selfies, and having secret rendezvous at palatial private estates.’
Following the Enquirer’s accusations, Jeff fired back by writing a lengthy essay to the publication’s CEO, David Pecker (seen), in which the mogul accused the company of blackmailing him
The outlet said that it had tracked them ‘across five states and 40,000 miles, tailing them in private jets, swanky limos, helicopter rides, romantic hikes, five-star hotel hideaways, intimate dinner dates and “quality time” in hidden love nests.’
Following the Enquirer’s accusations, Jeff fired back by writing a lengthy essay to the publication’s CEO, David Pecker, in which the mogul accused the company of blackmailing him.
‘Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,’ he wrote.
‘[After] intimate texts messages from me were published in the National Enquirer, I engaged investigators to learn how those texts were obtained, and to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer.
‘We were then approached with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.’
He shared alleged emails sent to him by Enquirer staffers, in which they described the racy images they had ‘obtained during their newsgathering’ in detail.
Jeff (seen with Lauren in 2021) wrote: ‘Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve published exactly what they sent me, despite the personal embarrassment they threaten’
As for how Jeff and Lauren met, it was said that it was Lauren’s husband Patrick introduced the two at an Amazon studios party for the movie Manchester By The Sea in 2016 (seen)
After splitting from their partners, Jeff and Lauren didn’t wait long to start flaunting their love all over the globe. They made their first official appearance as a couple that July (seen)
‘If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?’ Jeff continued.
‘Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks, and corruption. I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.’
As for how Jeff and Lauren met, it was said that it was Lauren’s husband Patrick who was the first to introduce the two at an Amazon studios party for the movie Manchester By the Sea in 2016.
Her production team was then hired to film footage for Jeff’s rocket company, Blue Origin, in 2018.
‘Patrick and Lauren have socialized with Jeff Bezos and his wife for a few years, because both [former] couples have houses in Seattle,’ a source told Page Six after their affair was brought to light.
‘Then Lauren was hired to work on one of Jeff’s projects, Blue Origin, a space-launch company. She has been shooting aerial shots for Jeff.’
Cementing herself as a Hollywood star: Since she started dating one of the richest men in the world, Lauren has jetted off on a slew of lavish getaways and racked up tons of A-list friends
Since then, the couple has not tried to hide their romance, and they have continuously jetted off on a slew of lavish getaways together. They’re seen in Saint-Tropez, France
They’ve also shared tons of adorable, PDA-filled photos together on social media, gushed over one another nonstop in interviews, and attended a slew of star-studded events side by side
Dating one of the richest men in the world certainly comes with a slew of perks – like dining in top restaurants, hanging out with A-listers, and getting VIP treatment wherever they go
Despite the start of their romance being shrouded in accusations of blackmail and extortion, cheating allegations, and an explosive affair, the couple did not let it defer them.
In fact, after splitting from their respective partners, Jeff and Lauren didn’t wait long to start flaunting their love all over the globe.
They were seen for the first time together publicly in May 2019, when photographers caught them enjoying a romantic date night in New York City, and they made their first official appearance as a couple at Wimbledon that July.
Since then, the couple has not tried to hide their romance, and for the last four years, they have continuously jetted off on a slew of lavish getaways together, shared tons of adorable, PDA-filled photos together on social media, gushed over one another nonstop in interviews, and attended a slew of star-studded events side by side.
And dating one of the richest men in the world certainly comes with a slew of perks – like dining in top restaurants, hanging out with A-listers, getting VIP treatment wherever they go, and vacationing in some of the most sought after spots on the globe.
Lauren has also been expanding her wardrobe since her romance with Jeff began, and the TV personality is now often seen toting around designer handbags and donning exquisite jewelry pieces that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In addition, she’s racked up tons of celebrity friends over the course of her and Jeff’s four-year romance – many of who came out to celebrate the pair’s upcoming union over the weekend
On Sunday, the couple was spotted exiting their star-studded engagement party, which was held Diane von Furstenberg and her businessman husband Barry Diller’s Beverly Hills mansion.
It was attended by the likes of Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kris, Robert, Jessica, Suki Waterhouse, Miranda Kerr, and Salma Hayek, among others.
Lauren (seen wearing a $28,500 Jacquie Aiche necklace last year) is often seen toting around designer handbags and donning exquisite jewelry pieces
She has racked up tons of celebrity friends over the course of her and Jeff’s four-year romance, including Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, who are seen with the couple at Beyoncé’s concert
Lauren is seen hanging out with Nicky Hilton and America Ferrera recently
Jeff popped the question to Lauren in May this year after a romantic dinner under the stars on his mega-yacht (seen)
Jeff popped the question to Lauren back in May this year after a romantic dinner under the stars on his mega-yacht.
She told the publication that Jeff had concealed the piece of jewelry under her pillow, which she discovered at the end of the evening just before they went to bed.
When asked about their upcoming wedding, Lauren admitted that they were still in the early stages of planning, so they didn’t have a lot figured out just yet.
‘We’re still thinking about the wedding and what it’s going to be. Is it going to be big? Is it going to be overseas? We don’t know yet,’ she dished.
As for whether or not Lauren will be taking her husband-to-be’s last name, she admitted: ‘Uh, yes, one hundred percent. I am looking forward to being Mrs. Bezos.’