Melinda French Gates, now-divorced wife of Bill Gates, in an interview with Fortune magazine this week said the divorce with Microsoft co-founder was ‘unbelievably painful in innumerable ways’.
The couple were married for three decades and divorced in May 2021. They continue to work together as co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“I kept working with the person I was moving away from, and I need to show up and be my best self every single day,” Melinda said when asked about how she feels about working with her ex-husband.
She told Fortune that following her divorce she would cry for some mornings before the virtual meetings she had with her former husband and their colleagues but also pointed out that the foundation inspires her to be her best.
She said the couple chose to divorce because of nothing specific but after both eventually realised that it was not healthy and they could not trust what they had among themselves.
Melinda said the couple chose to divorce because they had their reasons and she was not able to stay in her marriage with Gates. She added that she does not think about it.
She pointed out that the Covid pandemic gave her the privacy to go through the divorce and do what she needed to do. She added that protecting her children was her main concern.
The Gates’ have three children who will each inherit $10 million.
After the reports of the divorce surfaced, allegations that Bill Gates pursued sexual relationships with employees while he was Microsoft CEO including with an engineer at Microsoft also surfaced.
There were also reports of his connection to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who is accused of grooming and luring underage girls into having sex with powerful at the Little Saint James Island and other locations.
Melinda said her attention is now on Pivotal Ventures, which aims to improve women’s lives throughout the US.
She said her organization aims to boost the presence of women and people of colour in the United States in industries like tech, finance, media, and politics, while speaking to Fortune.