World's richest man’s ex-wife has epic revenge
MacKenzie Scott became one of the richest woman on the planet the moment the ink dried on her divorce settlement in 2019.
Her shock split with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos after 26 years of marriage made headlines across the world, and ultimately became the most expensive break-up in history.
It netted the 50-year-old a cool $US38 billion - and since then, a series of classy acts and dignified public comments have ensured she's also won the PR war, while her ex's reputation is left in tatters.
The mother-of-four announced from the outset that she would give away the bulk of her vast fortune to worthy causes, and she wasted no time in putting her money where her mouth was.
In May 2019, just a month after the divorce was finalised, Scott signed up to the Giving Pledge campaign - an initiative founded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates that encourages the world's wealthiest people to dedicate most of their fortunes to worthy causes.
In July 2020, she formally dropped the Bezos last name and adopted Scott, which was the middle name she grew up with, and announced she had already donated $1.7 billion to 116 non-profits.
At the time, she donated $US586 million ($A820 million) to organisations devoted to racial equity, $US399 million ($A557 million) for those tackling economic mobility, $US133 million ($A185 million) for gender equity, $US130 million ($A181 million) for global development, $US128 million ($A178 million) for public health, $US125 million ($A174 million) for climate change, $US72 million ($A100 million) for functional democracy, $US55 million ($A76 million) for empathy and bridging divides and $US46 million ($A64 million) for LGBTQ+ equity.
But just four months on, the successful author has gone on yet another giving spree - this time handing out $5.6 billion to 384 charitable organisations in America, including food banks, emergency relief funds and support services "for those most vulnerable" after considering thousands of organisations.
Scott announced the latest donation blitz on a Medium post - and couldn't resist a subtle dig at her ex at the same time by calling out the wealth accumulation of the world's billionaires during a year of unprecedented crisis, and pushing other rich-listers to do more.
"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," Scott wrote. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of colour, and for people living in poverty.
"Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."
'SWEET, SWEET REVENGE'
The fresh announcement was covered by news outlets across the world, with Vanity Fair penning a glowing piece about how Scott now "redefines f*ck-you money" while also mocking her ex-husband's notorious tendency to hoard his "indescribable wealth close to his chest".
She set a new life goal for me.— 🌺 pretty flaka jordie 🌺 (@datswht_shesaid) December 16, 2020
Marry rich billionaires, divorce them, take them to the cleaners during said divorce, and then donate all the monies in a final act of sweet, sweet revenge.
The news was also welcomed by everyday people, with countless social media users taking to Twitter to shower Scott in praise for her generosity and claiming she now had the ultimate revenge on her ex.
It has also cemented her position as a world-leading philanthropist, with charity expert Chuck Collins telling the New York Times Scott was "disrupting the norms around billionaire philanthropy by moving quickly, not creating a private foundation for her great-grandchildren to give the money away".
At the same time, Scott's latest move has also put Bezos' own spectacular lack of generosity under the spotlight once again, attracting renewed condemnation from critics.
For example, a Washington Post analysis of the coronavirus donations of billionaires found that while Bezos had pledged $US125 million to the cause, it was the equivalent of around $85 for the median American donor - hardly an inspiring sum.
Last month, Bezos announced he had also given $US791 million to 16 groups fighting climate change.
But while it was among the first donations of his Bezos Earth Fund, which promises $10 billion to fight climate change, it's still a tiny fraction of his incredible fortune - a fact detractors have pointed out again and again over the years.
And in a year when Scott's popularity has soared to dizzying heights, Bezos' has plunged to new lows, with Amazon workers pushing for better workplace safety standards holding a series of dramatic protests outside the CEO's multimillion-dollar Manhattan mansion throughout 2020.
RICHEST MAN ON EARTH
Jeff Bezos remains the world's wealthiest person with a fortune of $US185 billion ($A245 billion), according to the Bloomberg index. Bezos added $US70 billion ($A92.6 billion) to his net worth in 2020.
He has also been tipped to become world's first trillionaire by 2026.
He has been in a relationship with former TV host Lauren Sanchez for some time, with US tabloid magazine the National Enquirer publishing details that allegedly revealed an affair between the pair that began while the CEO was still married.
Originally published as Richest man's ex-wife has epic revenge
@MacKenzieScott apparently giving well is the best revenge. 💜— RelentlessImplacableResistance (@jmarsh4037) December 15, 2020
MacKenzie Scott donates almost 6 Billion dollars since July. A Better Human being than Jeff Bezos... Prove me wrong.— Johan_Becker (@JohanBecker15) December 17, 2020