How Jeff Bezos’ Girlfriend Lauren Sanchez Reinvented Herself from TV Anchor to Helicopter Pilot
Lauren Sanchez earned her helicopter license in 2016 and specializes in aerial filming
The news anchor, 49, started learning how to fly planes in 2011 when she began co-hosting Fox’s Good Day LA. She left the show in 2017 and continued flying.
“I had my job, I had a career, and then I found a calling,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017.
Sanchez earned her helicopter pilot’s license in June 2016 before creating Black Ops Aviation, an aerial film and production company.
She served as a consultant on Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and worked as an aerial producer on director Catherine Hardwicke’s upcoming film Miss Bala, starring Gina Rodriguez. She was also hired to film aerial shots for Bezos’ company Blue Origin, according to Page Six.
Although Sanchez only started learning how to fly in 2011, aviation is in her blood. Her father Ray, worked as a flight instructor and also rebuilt planes.
Sanchez told THR that while her husband, top Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell — whom PEOPLE has confirmed she is divorcing — wasn’t that into flying, all three of her kids took lessons.
“I want to be in a helicopter all the time,” she remarked. “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.’”
Sanchez and Whitesell, the co-CEO of WME agency, have two kids. Sanchez also has a son from a previous relationship.
During an interview with Extra in March 2018, Sanchez also explained that another one of the reasons she decided to combine her love of flying with entertainment is because of the lack of women in the field.
“Only six percent of pilots are women and then there’s even less in the film industry. So i was like, I want to film movies, that’s what I want to do,” she told the outlet, adding, “I loved being on camera and now I still have a camera, it’s just 3,000 feet in the air.”
Just hours after Amazon CEO Bezos announced his divorce from wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, sources told PEOPLE he was dating Sanchez, who is also divorcing her husband of 13 years.
Most recently, the 54-year-old billionaire was spotted chatting with Sanchez at Amazon’s Golden Globes afterparty, which was also attended by her soon-to-be ex-husband, a fellow partygoer told PEOPLE.
A source told PEOPLE that Bezos and Sanchez have been spotted spending more and 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 said. “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.”