Among other reports and revelations that have come out of her split from Bill Gates, we’ve now learned that Melinda Gates first started consulting with divorce lawyers in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A former employee for the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation told the outlet that at least part of her decision was related to her husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Melinda was “furious” after she and her then-husband met with Epstein back in 2013. Bill had since said that meeting with Epstein was a “mistake in judgment,” and that he “thought that those discussions would lead, literally, to billions of dollars going to global health. It turned out that was a bad judgment.”
The pair were together for 27 years, announcing their split last week after putting “a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship,” their Twitter statement read.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and build a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” it added. “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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
According to the WSJ, the divorce filing shows that Bill and Melinda were around 1,250 miles apart when they finally signed it—Bill was in Palm Desert, California, while Melinda did so near the foundation headquarters and family home in Bellevue, Washington.
A spokesperson for Melinda reportedly did not respond to questions about why they split, while a source close to Bill said he stands by his 2019 statement about Epstein.