Amazon hypocrisy at heart of happy divorce
WHEN Donald Trump heard about billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s impending divorce from his wife MacKenzie, he revived his old ratings-hungry reality TV persona, salivating about how this was ‘going to be a beauty’. The US President knows something of which he speaks. So far he has two spectacular splits under his belt, both predating the current celebrity fad for presenting divorce as the triumphant summit of golden coupledom.
Hollywood royalty Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may have pioneered the barmy act of ‘conscious uncoupling,’ but the Bezoses, Silicon Valley’s royal couple, stretched public credulity to the limit, gushing in their statement about being ‘cherished friends’ who were ‘divorcing after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation’.
The charade of their harmonious divorce might have lasted had it not been followed in a matter of hours by news that the National Enquirer was about to break the scandal of Jeff’s affair with his wife’s friend Lauren Sanchez, a former TV presenter with an adventurous sideline in flying helicopters.
Far from a split framed as the natural end to a halcyon union between two hippie soulmates, the excruciating sexts and photographs of his genitalia that were sent by digital pioneer Bezos to his mistress exposed him as just another stinking rich cliché playing out his mid-life crisis in public, regardless of the cost to his wife of 25 years and their four children.
TIME will tell whether despite their upbeat PR, the Bezoses’ divorce plays out just like any other split caused by infidelity. They might be able to keep a lid on passions unleashed after such a betrayal: revenge, bitterness, jealousy and human misery, not to forget guilt.
Bezos’s fortune stands at $140billion and under community law in Washington state it will be halved, with his wife becoming one of the richest women on the planet and him toppling down the rich list.
They will be anxious to avoid anything like the all-out war that was fought between Donald and Ivana Trump.
When Ivana discovered that her cheating husband had brought his mistress on the family skiing holiday, she vowed to take him for every last billion, compounding his humiliation with a cameo in the movie First Wives Club, where she merrily exhorted women ,’not to get mad – but to get everything’.
The Trumps’ larger than life personalities were a factor in their divorce becoming such a sensation, but even for control freaks like Jeff Bezos, there is rarely such thing as an amicable divorce.
He may allow no cracks in his brand’s veneer of perfection but while the guff churned out by his PR machine managed to turn a pasty-faced internet nerd into a glamorous superstar figure, it can’t erase the emotional upheaval or raw pain caused by divorce.
In the early days of Amazon, both MacKenzie and Jeff looked like quintessential tech geeks in their sensible clothes, glasses and earnest ways. No more. Cosmetic surgery, veneers and extensive work in the gym have transformed MacKenzie into a sleek clothes horse, worthy of the fashion pages.
Jeff’s extreme makeover turned him into a perma-tanned shavenheaded muscle man in aviator sunglasses, who has been compared to Vin Diesel in appearance.
MacKenzie, who encouraged him to take a gamble on his madcap scheme for internet shopping and did the bookkeeping for Amazon in the early years, is certainly not the first woman to find herself traded in after her hus- band hit the big time.
For her sake, it’s a pity that Bezos, the retail revolutionary who blazed a trail through the information age, wasn’t quite so visionary at home.
YANN Moix, the French intellectual who caused a storm when he said he had no interest in women over 50, has declared he can’t stand white women either. ‘They make my hair stand on end,’ he says. Given his receding hairline, it’s safe to say it’s been a very long time indeed since any of his hair stood on end.
HATS off to radio legend Larry Gogan who, aged 84, continues to work despite undergoing stressful dialysis treatment. Larry’s sole concession to his medical condition is moving from 2fm to RTÉ Gold as the latter’s schedule fits in better with his thrice-weekly treatments. No offence to Larry, but perhaps retirement would suit his condition even better.