Last year, Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates announced their separation. They were married for nearly three decades, and their divorce was finalized in August 2021.
Even though both continue to run their philanthropic foundation together, Melinda's "unbelievably painful" divorce hasn't been easy for her. However, in a recent interview, she opened up about the experience.
"I had some reasons; I just couldn't stay in that marriage anymore," she said in the interview. "But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed. It's unbelievably painful in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it."
Melinda and Bill Gates have three children together — Jennifer, 25. Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19. She mentioned that her main concern during the difficult time was protecting their children.
"My main concern, of course, was trying to protect my kids through it. And we got to the other side," she said.
At the time of the divorce, Melinda wrote on her Instagram, "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives."
Talking about the difficulties she faced working with her ex-husband, Melinda added, "I kept working with the person I was moving away from, and I needed to show up and be my best self every single day. So even though I might be crying at 9 AM and then have to be on a video conference at 10 AM with the person I'm leaving, I have to show up and be my best."
"I learned as a leader that I could do it. It reminded me that the foundation calls me to be my best," she said.
For the first time in March, she opened up about her marriage and divorce in an interview with Gayle Knight on the "CBS This Morning" show.
She discussed her disapproval of her ex-husband's meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, calling the late tainted financier "evil personified."
Originally published on Oct. 8, 2022.
Photo: Courtesy of Steve Jurvetson on flickr
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