Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates announced their divorce back in May 2021 after nearly 30 years of marriage. It was finalised in August 2021, but the couple announced that they would continue to run their foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation together. Now, in an interview with Fortune Magazine, Melinda opened up about her “unbelievably painful” divorce with Ex-husband Bill.
She said, “I had some reasons I just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore,” French Gates, 58, told Fortune magazine. “But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do.” She continued, “It’s unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it.”
The former couple got married in 1994 and have three children together- Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.
The philanthropist revealed, “I kept working with the person I was moving away from, and I needed to show up and be my best self every single day.” She added, “So even though I might be crying at 9 a.m. and then have to be on a video conference at 10 a.m. with the person I’m leaving, I have to show up and be my best.”
She said she learned as a leader that she could do it and it reminded her that the foundation “calls me to be my best.”
In an earlier interview with Sunday Times, Bill Gates described the last two years as “pretty dramatic” but he also added that even with the COVID-19 pandemic and his divorce, the “weirdest part” for him has been his children leaving.
While talking about his ex-wife, the Microsoft founder said, “I wouldn’t have changed it. You know, I wouldn’t choose to marry someone else.”