Melinda Gates first contacted divorce lawyers two years ago, with insiders also claiming she held concerns over her husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
It seems that the split between Bill and Melinda Gates has been looming for some time, with new reports revealing Ms. Gates contacted divorce lawyers two years ago about separating from her billionaire husband.
The 56-year-old has reportedly been in contact with several law firms since 2019 regarding her marriage to Mr. Gates, with people familiar with the matter and documents revealing Ms. Gates said the couple’s relationship was “irretrievably broken,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Last week, the couple announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage, revealing in a joint statement that they had been battling to save their relationship for some time. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
While the couple hasn’t announced what prompted their split, a former employee of their charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told The Journal that Ms. Gates had concerns about her husband’s interactions with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The publication claimed her concerns about Mr. Gates’ dealings with the financier dated as far back as 2013 when the couple met Mr. Epstein. The former employee told The Journal the Microsoft founder continued his relationship with Mr. Epstein despite Ms. Gates telling her husband she was uncomfortable with the man.
Mr. Epstein died in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial for multiple sex trafficking charges.
In 2019, the New York Times reported that Mr. Gates had met with Mr. Epstein on multiple occasions and once stayed late into the night at his Manhattan townhouse.
That same year, Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Mr. Gates, said he “regrets” his meetings with Mr. Epstein, reported to discuss philanthropy. “Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,” Ms. Arnold said at the time.
Book reveals details of marriage struggles.
Ms. Gates lifted the lid on some of the struggles within her marriage in her 2019 book, The Moment of Lift.
The pair reportedly clashed over the handling of the Gates Foundation, with the 56-year-old revealing her desire to take over more responsibility alongside her already a globally renowned husband, admitting it was “hard to be heard”. “I’ve been trying to find my voice as I’ve been speaking next to Bill, and that can make it hard to be heard,” she wrote. She said a request to co-author the annual Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation letter, usually written solely by her husband, brought particular strain on their 27-year marriage.