The ex-wife of Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates has opened up about her “unbelievably painful” divorce.
The couple, who got married in 1994 and were together for 27 years, announced their split in May 2021.
Speaking to Fortune Magazine in a new interview, Melinda said: “I had some reasons I just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore.
“But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do.
“It’s unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it.”
Melinda stressed that her main concern during the processesion of their seperation were her three children, Jennifer, 25, Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19.
Despite the divorce, the couple continued to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
She said: “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. 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.
“I learned as a leader that I could do it. It reminded me that the foundation calls me to be my best.”
French Gates told Gayle King in an interview with “CBS Mornings” earlier this year that she shed “a lot of tears for many days” and was “grieving a loss” following the divorce.
It was revealed that Bill reportedly asked several women out and went on to have a lengthy affair with a Microsoft employee in 2000.