Melinda French Gates at French Economic Ministery for 2nd Edition of Les Rendez vous de Bercy

Melinda French Gates Talks Divorce From Bill Gates: 'This Is Painful Stuff'

Home / Stars / Melinda French Gates Talks Divorce From Bill Gates: 'This Is Painful Stuff'

By Fiyin Olowokandi on March 3, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST

Melinda French Gates has finally opened up about her divorce from Bill Gates!

The philanthropist recently got candid about the end of her marriage to the Microsoft co-founder in an emotional interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings.

In a preview of their exclusive conversation, Melinda recalled the heartbreaking journey that led to her bombshell divorce, which shook the world in 2021.

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Melinda French Gates Breaks Silence About Her High-Profile Divorce From Bill Gates

Melinda French Gates at French Economic Ministery for 2nd Edition of Les Rendez vous de Bercy

A year after filing for divorce, Melinda is finally ready to talk about the events that led to her separation from the billionaire business magnate.

The 57-year-old Dallas native confessed she was an emotional wreck following the end of her 27-year-old marriage. The former computer scientist recalled crying for several days and thinking:

"How can this be? How can I get up? How am I gonna move forward?"

On other days, the mother-of-three stated that her sadness turned to anger, an emotion she believed was an essential part of the "grieving process."

According to the billionaire, she was distressed over losing something she once had and thought would be hers to keep for a long time.

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However, the former Microsoft employee was ready to embrace the next phase of her "healing journey" and have new experiences. In her words:

"I mean, this is painful stuff, and at the end of the day, though, I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I'm starting to get to the other side. And I do feel like I'm turning a page in the chapter now."

The philanthropist continued, "I mean, it's 2022, and I'm actually really excited about what's to come and life ahead for me."

As for the burning question on everyone's mind, why did the billionaire couple decide to split? Melinda revealed that wasn't a specific reason for the divorce.

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Although King brought up the software developer's 2000 affair with a company employee, "The Moment of Lift" author explained that the ex-couple previously sorted out the incident.

According to the women's rights advocate, she believed in forgiveness, and the affair no longer weighed on her mind. As for their divorce, the 57-year-old said:

"It wasn't one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn't healthy, and I couldn't trust what we had."

Last December, The Blast reported that the business mogul reflected on the pair's divorce in a blog post, where he described 2021 as a bittersweet year.

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Despite the former spouses' decision to continue working amicably at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the entrepreneur confessed that his year was filled with "great personal sadness."

Although the billionaire was saddened by his divorce, the 66-year-old sang his children's praises for being resilient during the difficult period.

The "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" author stated that the highlight of 2021 was his oldest daughter, Jennifer's wedding, but the doting father was equally proud of his other children.

However, since his youngest daughter, Phoebe, and son Rory were away at school, the Green energy advocate couldn't help but miss having rowdy teenagers at home.

The Billionaire Couple's Relationship Timeline Before Their Divorce

As shared by US Magazine, Bill and Melinda first met in 1987 at a PC trade show in New York City. Several weeks after this fateful encounter, the software developer asked his future wife out.

In 1994, the lovebirds married in an intimate ceremony on New Year's Day at Lanai, a Hawaiian island. Two years later, the couple welcomed their firstborn Jennifer.

Following their daughter's birth, Melinda decided to step down as a career woman to focus on raising her family. She welcomed her son in 1999 and a second daughter in 2002.

In 2005, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation became recognized for their charitable contributions, and the founders were named Time's Persons of the Year alongside Bono.

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At the time, the couple said in a joint statement that they gave back to the world because they had been "extremely fortunate in business."

In May 2021, the dynamic duo announced their separation, and three months later, the pair finalized their divorce according to a contract with zero spousal support.

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