Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce has been finalized nearly three months after they announced their 27-year marriage had come to an end.
The billionaire Microsoft founder, 65, and his wife, 56, shocked the world when they took to Twitter to break the news of their divorce back on May 4.
They tweeted that they ‘no longer believe we can grow together as a couple’ but they will still continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Three months later a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County signed off on the divorce on Monday.
There was no prenup and the couple instead divided their assets based on a separation contract with undisclosed terms.
The settlement between Gates, whose net worth is estimated at more than $130billion, and his ex could leave Melinda with over $65billion, TMZ reported. Melinda has also indicated that she will keep Gates as her last name.
When reflecting on his marriage with Melinda Gates was reportedly on the verge of tears at last month’s ‘billionaire summer camp’ as he ‘fessed up to messing up’
Melinda did not request to change her name either and child support does not apply since their three children are all legally adults (L-R: Melinda, Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe Gates)
In the wake of the divorce announcement Bill has been accused of ‘womanizing’ and sexually harassing colleagues during his time at Microsoft.
Their relationship reportedly began to unravel after Melinda read the letter a Microsoft employee wrote in 2019 detailing her billionaire husband’s ‘inappropriate’ sexual relationship with a female staff member.
Two decades after the 2000 affair, Gates was removed from Microsoft’s board of directors as it investigated his prior romantic relationship with an employee, which ‘ended amicably’.
Meanwhile, Melinda did not request to receive spousal support from her now-ex husband but she had already been given $2billion in stocks the day she filed the divorce documents. The next day her estranged husband even added 25 million shares of Mexican Coca-Cola to her portfolio.
Melinda did not request to change her name either and child support does not apply since their three children are all legally adults.
But it has long been known that the Gates children will not be inheriting their parents’ wealth. In 2014 Gates announced at a TED Conference in Canada that most of his fortune will go to the family foundation.
Melinda apparently knew of Gates’ ‘womanizing’ even before their 1994 Hawaii wedding
Melinda did not request to receive spousal support from her now-ex husband but she had already been given $2billion in stocks the day she filed the divorce documents. The next day her estranged husband even added 25 million shares of Mexican Coca-Cola to her portfolio
Their eldest child Jennifer Katherine Gates, 25, got engaged to fellow equestrian Nayel Nassar months before her parents’ split.
She posted on an Instagram story that ‘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,’ she added.
Their son Rory John Gates, 22, is notoriously private and youngest Phoebe Adele Gates, 18, is an aspiring ballerina who attended The School of American Ballet and Juilliard in New York City.
Each child will reportedly receive $10million from their parents.
The couple behind the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation projected an image of humanitarianism, compassion and stability but everything is not always what it seems.
Just two years ago Bill tweeted a photo of the loved-up couple on their wedding day and captioned it ‘I can’t wait to spend 25 more years laughing together’.
The ex-couple tweeted that they will still be working together as co-chairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
Everything is not always what it seems and it was later revealed that the Microsoft founder often told his golf buddies his marriage with Melinda was ‘loveless’ and the couple had been ‘living separate lives’ for a while.
But Gates’ loyalty had been questionable throughout many points in their relationship and much of it hadn’t surfaced until recently.
Gates still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend and software entrepreneur Ann Winblad, and on a few occasions he pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Melinda even met Gates on the job when she was 23, soon after being hired as a product manager for Microsoft in 1987. She apparently knew of his ‘womanizing’ for some time before their 1994 Hawaii wedding.
‘Bill wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and have Microsoft,’ Melinda said in an interview for the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.
When reflecting on his marriage with Melinda Gates was reportedly on the verge of tears at last month’s ‘billionaire summer camp’ as he ‘fessed up to messing up’.
The Gates’ divorce settlement is America’s second-most expensive after Jeff Bezos’ $38.3billion split with ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.