On Monday, the billionaire couple took to social media to announce they would be legally separating after nearly three decades of marriage.
“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,” Bill wrote on his verified Twitter account. “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.”
The details of the separation have remained under wraps, which, of course, prompted plenty of speculation about the division of their assets and what ultimately sparked their decision to divorce. QAnon believers have also weighed in on the split, and have used the opportunity to propogate baseless conspiracy theories about Bill, COVID-19, and a child sex-trafficking rings.
As pointed out by Vice, Bill has become one of the most despised figures among QAnon followers—a group of far-right conspiracy theorists who say Donald Trump was saving the world from an elite group of child-sex traffickers. A number of QAnon believers took to platforms like Telegram and Gab to offer their theories about the impending divorce. Some speculated it was Melinda who initiated the separation, as she intends to leave Bill for Dr. Anthony Fauci—the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease. Another popular, and much more outlandish theory, is that Bill pushed for the divorce because Melinda had been replaced by a male clone.
Though the theories varied, many agreed that the split would put Melinda’s life in danger because she simply “knew too much” about Bill’s so-called plan for world domination. QAnon believers used the Gates’ announcement to reiterate their claim that Bill had created the pandemic and engineered the COVID-19 vaccine to inject individuals with tracking microchips.
Bill addressed the conspiracy theory in a Reuters interview earlier this year, describing the claims as both “crazy” and “evil.”
“Nobody would have predicted that I and Dr. Fauci would be so prominent in these really evil theories. I’m very surprised by that. I hope it goes away,” said Bill, whose foundation has committed over a billion of dollars toward the fight against coronavirus. “But do people really believe that stuff?. We’re really going to have to get educated about this over the next year and understand ... how does it change peoples’ behavior and how should we have minimized this?”