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‘I Just Couldn’t Stay In This Marriage’ Melinda Gates Opens Up About ‘Painful’ Divorce From Bill Gates

'I Just Couldn't Stay In This Marriage' Melinda Gates Opens Up About 'Painful' Divorce From Bill Gates

Melinda French Gates has opened up about her “incredibly painful” divorce from Bill Gates.

Melinda, 58, and Bill, 66, married in 1994 and were together for 27 years before announcing their divorce in May 2021.

Speaking to Fortune Magazine in a new interview, Melinda said: “I had reasons why I couldn’t stay in this marriage anymore.

“But the weird thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do.

“It’s incredibly painful, in countless ways, but I’ve had the privacy to get through it.”

Melinda said she and Bill’s three children – Jennifer, 25, Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19 – were her “main concern” during the split.

The former couple also founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together in 2000 and continued to run it together after their separation. Melinda Gates credits this for helping her deal with her emotions.

She said: “I kept working with the person I was walking away from, and I needed to show up and be my best every day. So even though I was crying at 9 a.m. and that I then had to be on a videoconference at 10 a.m. with the person I am leaving, I have to show up and do my best.

“I learned as a leader that I could do it. It reminded me that the foundation calls me to do my best.”

French Gates told Gayle King in an interview with “CBS Mornings” earlier this year that she shed “a lot of tears over several days” and was “mourning a loss” after the divorce.

In 2021, it was revealed that Bill had a long affair with a Microsoft employee in 2000 and allegedly asked out several women in the office while he was married.

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