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MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, just donated more than a billion dollars to LGBT+ rights and racial justice groups

Josh Milton July 29, 2020
Jeff Bezos (L) and MacKenzie Scott. (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Jeff Bezos (L) and MacKenzie Scott. (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon’s billionaire chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos, ahas donated around $1.7 billion to a roster of 116 racial justice, LGBT+ rights and public health groups.

The sum, which is 0.94 per cent of Bezos’ thumping net worth at the time of writing, is part of the novelist’s efforts to make good on her 2019 pledge to redistribute her immense wealth, she said in a Medium blog post on Tuesday (28 July).

The 13-richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $59.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Scott signed the Giving Pledge in a commitment to donate her fortune following the divorce.

She made the announcement just a day before Bezos is set to appear at a congressional hearing to defend accusations by the US government that Amazon has abused its role as both retailer and platform for third-party sellers on its marketplace.

MacKenzie Scott donates $1.7 billion to 116 groups fighting for change.

“There’s no question in my mind that anyone’s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort, and of social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to countless others,” Scott wrote.

We feel she and famed socialist Britney Spears may get along.

She continued: “Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror.

Jeff Bezos (L) and MacKenzie Scott. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Jeff Bezos (L) and MacKenzie Scott. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

“Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilisation this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable.

“Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin colour, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change,” she said, noting that she asked a team of non-profit advisers to identify “organisations having major impact on a variety of causes”.

Following her divorce from Bezos in 2019, Scott netted a four per cent stake in Amazon, according to filings. At the time, her stake was worth $36 billion and has since swelled to nearly $60 billion as Amazon shares in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic continue to soar.

In the fanning rundown of her relief efforts, Scott said more than $586 million had been dedicated to racial equity and LGBT+ equity groups will receive $46 million. Public health, climate change and economic mobility groups also received sizeable donations, Scott said.

Scott and Bezos, when together, pledged $2.5 million to the fight for equal marriage in Washington State in 2012.

But their pocketbook spending took a sharp turn when the couple weathered criticism for donating $10,000 to a leading Republican lawmaker who fiercely opposed marriage equality, same-sex adoption and anti-LGBT+ discrimination laws in 2018.

More: Amazon, billionaire, Jezz Bezos, LGBT rights, Mackenzie Scott, racism, US

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