Melinda French Gates has spoken out about her “extremely painful” divorce from Bill Gates, glamsquad reports.
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Melinda, 58, and Bill, 66, married in 1994 and were married for 27 years before divorcing in May 2021.
In a new interview, Melinda stated, “I had some reasons I just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore.”
“However, the strange thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy I needed to do what I needed to do.”
“It’s excruciatingly painful in so many ways, but I had the privacy to get through it.”
During the separation, Melinda said she and Bill’s three children — Jennifer, 25, Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19 — were her “main concern.”
The former couple also co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and continued to run it after their divorce. Melinda Gates credits this with assisting her in processing her emotions.
“I kept working with the person I was trying to avoid, and I needed to show up and be my best self every single day,” she explained. So, even if I’m crying at 9 a.m. and then have to be on a video conference with the person I’m leaving at 10 a.m., I have to show up and do my best.
“As a leader, I learned that I could do it.” It reminded me that the foundation expects me to give my all.”
French Gates told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings” earlier this year that the divorce caused her “a lot of tears for many days” and that she was “grieving a loss.”
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Bill had a long affair with a Microsoft employee in 2000, and he reportedly asked out several women in the office while he was married, it was revealed in 2021.