SUN VALLEY, Idaho – Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez may have taken another step in their blossoming romance, with the billionaire Amazon.com founder possibly showing off his gal pal at the Allen & Company media conference this week, FOX Business has learned.
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Bezos arrived at the “summer camp for billionaires” earlier in the week, while the Sun Valley crowd began buzzing that Sanchez was spotted hobnobbing near the conference area both Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday night, Sanchez was said to have made an appearance at a private dinner attended by Bezos at the nearby Knob Hill Inn resort, said one person who attended and personally witnessed both Bezos and Sanchez’s arrival at the event. Other attendees included Robert Iger, the Disney CEO, and Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and chief of Berkshire Hathaway, this person said.
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Calls to spokespeople for Iger and Buffett were not returned at the time of publication; Iger and Buffett were both on the conference guest list. An Amazon press official didn’t return emails for comment. A representative for Sanchez didn't return a call for comment. The conference’s chief of security would neither confirm nor deny the matter.
The annual conference hosted by boutique investment bank Allen & Co. features some of the biggest titans in media, technology and telecom. In addition to Iger, Buffett and Bezos, other attendees included Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Shari Redstone of National Amusements Inc., the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom.
Sanchez, 49, is a former local TV reporter who has been dating the 55-year-old Bezos for the past year. She wasn’t on the conference attendee list, though several people at the event said she was spotted at the some of the shops and restaurants outside the private areas and unaccompanied by her billionaire beau.
Their relationship has been an endless source of tabloid headlines, particularly after racy emails between the two were published in the National Enquirer earlier this year. Most of the emails were not released after Bezos wrote about the matter, stating that the Enquirer was using them to blackmail him. The Enquirer denied the blackmail charge.
Meanwhile, some reports speculate that Bezos and Sanchez may soon get married now that he has finalized his divorce with his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, earlier this month.
The press attention to Bezos’s love life may have also contributed to his relatively low profile at this year’s conference. Bezos has been a fixture at the event in recent years and could be seen strolling around public areas in the Sun Valley resort in full view of the large contingent of reporters stationed outside of the restricted areas.
But this year, Bezos appeared to take steps to limit his press exposure and wasn’t publicly spotted outside of the conference sessions that are closed to the general media, according to two attendees who were at panel discussions with Bezos.
Bezo also wasn’t seen with Sanchez during any of the daytime conference panels, according to two attendees. In fact, the only time it is believed the two were spotted together in public occurred at the Thursday dinner, attendees told FOX Business. Bezos left the event Friday aboard his private plane, said one person with knowledge of the matter. It’s couldn’t be determined if Sanchez was with him.
MacKenzie is said to have received a settlement of $38 billion in Amazon stock as part of the divorce. That leaves Bezos with a fortune of around $120 billion, allowing him to retain the title of the world’s richest person. The stock has gained 33 percent this year and this week reclaimed its trillion market value.
But Bezos and Sanchez have recently increased their public profile as a power couple, affectionately dining in New York and attending the Broadway show “Hadestown.” New York Post’s Page Six, which broke those stories, reported that Bezos put his hand on her lower back as they left the theater, escorted by security detail.
In Sun Valley, people said the person identified as Sanchez did not have a guard, but the conference is notorious for its tight security featuring a detail of New York City cops moonlighting there and restricting press access.
At one point Thursday afternoon, attendees thought they spotted her at the resort’s Konditorei bakery restaurant with an unidentified woman. When someone shouted “Hey Ms. Sanchez,” she smiled, waved and walked away.
FOX Business could not verify if Sanchez was this woman.