Ever since Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced in January of this year that they were ending their 25-year marriage, the spotlight has been on the couple. That’s in no small part because it was reported almost immediately that Jeff Bezos was not only splitting with his wife, but also dating TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. Sanchez is still married, thought she has filed for divorce; her husband is Patrick Whitesell, the co-CEO of Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor.
Whitesell and Bezos are not strangers. The former represents clients who appear in Amazon’s film and TV programming, and the men know each other socially. As a source told the New York Post, “Patrick and Lauren have socialized with Jeff Bezos and his wife for a few years, because both [now former] couples have houses in Seattle.”
Here’s what you need to know about Patrick Whitesell.
Both he and Lauren Sanchez have filed for divorce.
According to the Associated Press, both Sanchez and Whitsell "filed divorce papers Friday. They're seeking joint custody of their two kids.'
Sanchez, 49, and Whitesell, 53, had been married for 14 years. The pair have two children together and were, as recently as January of this year, reported to be living in the same Beverly Hills home. Recent reports have said the pair are working with Laura Wasser, Hollywood’s go-to divorce lawyer.
He’s rich, but not Bezos rich.
As the co-CEO of the talent agency William Morris Endeavor, Whitesell has amassed what Forbes reported in 2015 to be a personal fortune of close to $440 million. It’s not quite as big a pile as Bezos has-the Amazon founder’s wealth was recently clocked at close to $137 billion-but as far as Hollywood heavyweights go, he’s in the top tier. And no wonder; his client list currently includes Ben Affleck, Michelle Williams, Idris Elba, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Johnson, Denzel Washington, and Robert Redford.
He’s one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
In 1898, German immigrant William Morris launched a talent agency in New York City. The firm quickly grew to represent stars like Charlie Chaplin and Mae West. More than 100 years later, William Morris merged with the relative upstart agency Endeavor to become William Morris Endeavor, an entertainment behemoth representing clients in film, television, theater, publishing and more.
WME, as the new firm came to be known, was run by two co-CEOs: Ari Emanuel (brother of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel) and Whitesell.
Whitesell, an Iowa native and the youngest of five brothers, began his career in entertainment working in the mailroom at InterTalent. He later became an agent, but after two years moved on to the United Talent Agency (UTA) and later the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he rose to become head of the talent department. He joined Endeavor in 2001.
His current position puts him at the top of an operation that includes art fairs, model agencies, UFC-the martial arts federation-and the Miss Universe organization.
And he’s reportedly dating.
Recently, TMZ reported that Whitesell was seen leaving the Hollywood hotspot The Nice Guy with model Keir Alexa.
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