Michael Sanchez is an American talent manager and the brother of news anchor and media personality Lauren Sanchez. When the National Enquirer published stories about his sister's affair with Amazon Inc. founder Jeff Bezos in early 2019, Michael was said to be the tabloid’s primary source. According to reports, he leaked private communications between his sister and her billionaire boyfriend in exchange for $200,000. Bezos alleged that the leak was politically motivated as both Michael and the tabloid were President Donald Trump’s supporters. Michael Sanchez, who previously worked at MTV, is currently associated with Axis Management in California. He filed for bankruptcy in 2010, following which he was appointed as his sister's manager, but they reportedly stopped talking following the leak. Michael has been playing tennis since he was 11, but could not pursue the sport professionally due to an injury. Nevertheless, he still participates in competitive tennis, having recently won the Queen City Open in Cincinnati in 2018.
Rise to Stardom
Michael Sanchez's name started doing the rounds in the media soon after Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, announced that they were filing for a divorce following a "long period" of separation. Their Twitter announcement came on January 9, 2019, reportedly, 48 hours after the National Enquirer approached Jeff Bezos for his comments for their story. Later that month, the supermarket tabloid published an 11-page spread, detailing the months-long affair between Bezos and TV personality Lauren Sanchez, along with photographs and quotes from their private text communications. As an ugly public spat ensued between the National Enquirer and the billionaire, various sources identified Lauren's brother Michael as the source of the leaked text communication, immediately bringing him at the center of the high-profile scandal.
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Controversies & Scandals
Michael Sanchez got further entangled in the Jeff Bezos vs the National Enquirer controversy after the Amazon CEO hired private detective Gavin de Becker to investigate how the tabloid got access to his personal text messages. Becker told the Washington Post in February that he had interviewed Michael in connection with the investigations, but did not confirm whether or not he was the leaker. The Daily Beast later identified Michael as the source in a report that cited inputs from some employees of American Media Inc. (AMI), the Enquirer's parent company. In the meantime, Bezos published a blog post, in which he claimed that the Enquirer was attempting to blackmail him by threatening to publish more racy texts and below-the-belt selfies unless the investigation was called off. However, when the standoff calmed down in March, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources privy to the negotiations, that Michael had obtained his sister Lauren Sanchez's private communication with Bezos and sold them to the National Enquirer for $200,000. According to the report, the National Enquirer was already trailing and photographing the couple when Michael approached them for negotiations, following which AMI CEO David Pecker approved an up-front payment to him. Furthermore, the WSJ reported that Lauren was the second victim of his breach of trust as he had earlier sold private information related to his client Scottie Nell Hughes. Despite denying the rumors initially, Michael confirmed to the gossip publication Page Six on March 19 that he made a "deal with the devil" and sold the texts to the Enquirer, while insisting that he did so to protect Lauren and her relationship with the billionaire. However, following the exposé, the couple reportedly decided to stop seeing each other, and instead began focusing on spending time with their kids, who were affected the most by the scandal.
Michael Sanchez's political motivation for exposing his sister's affair with Jeff Bezos came under scrutiny after Jeff Bezos suggested that Michael and AMI CEO David Pecker had close ties with President Donald Trump and the Saudi royal family. He went as far as questioning Trump and AMI’s relatively soft stands on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for Bezos-owned Washington Post. Earlier, Michael had been very vocal about his support for Trump's controversial decisions and was close to many of his associates, including Roger Stone, Carter Page and Scottie Nell Hughes. According to The Daily Beast, Stone had referred to Michael as a "very good guy", while Page considered him a "friend".
Family & Personal Life
Michael Sanchez is the brother of the popular news anchor Lauren Sanchez. Based on their social media posts, they seem to have been very close until the affair between the media personality and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was revealed. According to recent reports, Lauren has "cut all ties with her brother Michael", who earlier worked as her manager and publicist. Earlier in 2010, when Michael filed for bankruptcy, she had helped him out with a $165,000 loan, in addition to giving him a job.
Michael got married to Casey Ashby in a beach ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico, in November 2011. He met his husband, who is a Gucci store director, back in 2006.