Bill Gates divorce: Moment Melinda decided marriage was ‘irretrievably broken’

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announce divorce

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Billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have been married for 27 years. But in a joint statement posted to their Twitter accounts last week, the former couple announced they will divorce. Their work with their foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will continue. But the Gateses said they “no longer believe” they can “grow together”.

And it seems Melinda knew their time as a couple was up some three years ago.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ms Gates spoke with divorce lawyers some two years before she filed for divorce from Mr Bates, stating their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”

In October 2019, she began consulting with New York divorce lawyer Robert Stephan Cohen, who previously represented Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kravis and Ivana Trump.

Sources say there was no specific incident that triggered their split, but the break-up was a result of a “combo of things.”

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Bill and Melinda Gates signed their divorce filing on May 3.

The statement announcing their divorce read: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work, 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.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to 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.”

Mr Gates first met his future wife when she joined his Microsoft firm in the 1980s.

The couple have three children together, Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.

Mr Gates is listed by Forbes as the fourth-richest man in the world, with his net worth estimated at $124 billion.

But despite their staggering wealth, the Gateses are known for their philanthropic work.

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They have dedicated their lives to their joint foundation, which helps to fight infectious diseases and encourage vaccines for children.

The two still plan on working together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

An insider told PEOPLE: “They were really interested in trying to win a Nobel Prize.

“So one thing that was part of this is, if it gets worse, then it ends that.

“It seems as if that was on the agenda, and that’s for both of them.”

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