The ex-partner of tycoon Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, opened up about her “incredibly painful” divorce with the businessman and software developer, recognized around the world for being the co-founder of Microsoft.
Melinda and Bill, 66, married in 1994 and were together for 27 years before divorcing in May 2021. They have three children together, Jennifer, 25, Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19, who have always they were Melinda’s “main concern” during the separation.
On the other hand, The ex-partner of the tycoon stressed that he could not continue with Gates and that thanks to the pandemic she was able to gain the momentum she needed to decide.
“I had a few reasons why. I couldn’t continue in that marriageMelinda Gates, 58, told the magazine fortune. “But the strange thing about covid is that he gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do,” he added.
The former couple also founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and continue to run it together after their separation, which the French Gates credits with helping her process her emotions.
“I continued to work with the person I was drifting away from, and I needed to show up and be my best self every day.”, said the philanthropist. “So even though I may be crying at 9 in the morning and then having to be on a video call at 10 in the morning with the person I’m leaving, I had to be and do my best,” the Frenchwoman said.
Melinda Gates shared that working with people who were going through difficult times during the pandemic allowed her to do her best work during her own difficult times.
“We work with amazing partners around the world who were also struggling during covid-19,” he noted, adding that “I was on a video call with a woman who had lost her father, and a week later she is on a call with me.”
Notably, Bill’s ex-wife told Gayle King in an interview with CBS Mornings earlier this year that shed “many tears for many days” and that he was “suffering a loss” after the divorce.
In 2021 it was revealed that Bill had a lengthy affair with a Microsoft employee in 2000 and that he allegedly asked out several women from the office while he was married, although it is unclear how much Melinda Gates knew of this behavior at the time.
However, he stated that Bill Gates’ infidelity with a Microsoft employee had nothing to do with it. “I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked on some of that,” he said in another recent interview.
“It was all my fault”: Bill Gates collapses at a conference when talking about his divorce
He did it in what is known as the “millionaires’ camp”, a meeting that brings together the world’s leading fortunes. The tycoon participated in a question/answer conversation at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley.
Although there is no recording of the meeting, those present agree in telling the same version: that Gates almost collapsed emotionally when asked about his separation from Melinda. “He said it was all his fault,” said one of the attendees. “She was on the verge of tears,” added another.
The truth is that Gates’ fame as a good husband has faded after the breakup. Until then, Bill Gates was one of the ‘most perfect’ men in the world. He symbolized the American dream of someone who, through hard work, had turned a small business into an emporium.
Also the foundation created together with his wife, Melinda, had grown to become the most powerful private charity in the world, having financed projects and initiatives for a total of 53,800 million dollars. And the family they had formed between the two was an example. They did not spoil their children, they traveled the world and shared everything they had.
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Melinda Gates opens up about her painful divorce from tycoon Bill Gates