Bill Gates Just Made a Rare Comment About His Divorce
Gates got candid about how he's feeling after his divorce was finalized this week.
In May, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates made headlines when they announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage. The pair tweeted a joint statement, saying: "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 on Twitter. "We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives." The divorce was officially finalized on Aug. 2, bringing the matter into the mainstream once again. During a recent interview, Gates got candid about how he's feeling as the end of his marriage is now official. To see what he had to say, read on.
Bill Gates said his divorce is "a source of great personal sadness."
During an interview that aired on CNN on Aug. 4, Anderson Cooper asked Gates how he was faring on a personal level post-divorce. Gates said the divorce finalization was "definitely a very sad milestone." He added: "Melinda is a great person and that partnership that we had coming to an end is a source of great personal sadness."
Gates and French Gates are continuing to work together, but on a two-year trial period.
Together, the Gates founded a non-profit, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000, and it's now worth over $40 billion, according to the foundation's website. Gates told Cooper that the he and his ex-wife are still "communicating and working at the foundation, so that relationship we're going to try to continue."
He said that French Gates staying in her position "would be definitely the best thing for the foundation." "Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that helped the foundation be better," he said. "We always enjoyed our work together."
On July 7, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a statement saying that the pair decided to have a two-year trial of working together. The statement stipulated that if after two years the exes decide they can't continue to work together, French Gates will resign as co-chair and trustee of the foundation. Gates would then buy French Gates out, and she would receive resources from him, separate from the foundation's, to do her own independent philanthropic work.
The couple met at Microsoft, and struggled with balance from the start.
Gates met then-Melinda French at Microsoft when it was just a start-up. It was her first job and while they were both serious about the work, they weren't quite as serious about their romantic lives.
In Netflix's 2019 docuseries Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder said (according to People), "When we first met, she had other boyfriends, and I had Microsoft. We were like, 'Hey, we're not really serious about each other, are we? We're not going to demand each other's time,'" Gates recalled. French Gates added: "I was new to Microsoft. There were a lot of men there. You know, you're still looking around, you're still figuring it out."
Eventually, the two fell in love, as Gates recounted in the docuseries. "After about a year of that, sort of to our surprise, certainly my surprise, we said, 'Hey, I love you,' and she said she loved me, and then it was like, 'Wow. Now, what's going to happen?'" he said.
French Gates explained that although her husband wanted to be married, he struggled with how he could commit to marriage and Microsoft at once.
The couple has three children together.
The Gates share three children: 25-year-old Jennifer Gates, 22-year-old Rory Gates, and 18-year-old Phoebe Gates. Jennifer is a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and she's engaged to Egyptian show jumper Nayel Nassar. Not much is known about Rory, the Gates' only son who keeps to himself on social media, but it's been reported that he's attending law school at the University of Chicago. Youngest Phoebe is just beginning her undergraduate degree at Stanford University in the fall.
The Gates kids haven't said much on social media about their parents, but on the day of the announcement, Jennifer posted on her Instagram Story: "By now many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating. It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I'm still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and am grateful for the space to do so. I won't personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me."
On Mother's Day on May 9, less than a week after the divorce was announced, Jennifer posted a photo of her siblings and mother (seen here) with the caption: "Our queen, hero and mom- every day."