Gates’ divorce ‘not a friendly split’
A new report suggests that Bill and Melinda Gates decided on divorcing months ago - long before they made an official announcement on May 3.
Sources alleged to TMZ on Thursday that the pair had planned to share the news in March and were preparing for the big day.
Melinda, 56, allegedly rented Calivigny Island in Grenada for $132,000 a night to escape the media scrutiny. The couple's children, along with their significant others, were supposed to arrive.
Insiders alleged Gates, 65, was not invited to the island because "there was a considerable amount of acrimony associated with the split".
"We're told virtually everyone in the family took Melinda's side," the outlet claimed.
"Another way of putting it … we're told they were very angry at Bill, and that's why he wasn't invited."
The outlet claimed that while there are still "outstanding issues that couldn't be resolved at the time of the trip", that Melinda went anyway.
"So here's the takeaway," the outlet alleged.
"First, we're told this was not a friendly split. We're told Melinda and most of the family were furious at Bill for various things they claim he had done. Second … it's clear this divorce has been a long time in the making."
The former couple announced they are divorcing but would keep working together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in the world.
In identical tweets, the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said they had made the decision to end their marriage of 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," they said in a statement.
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
Court documents obtained by People magazine showed that Melinda filed for divorce and stated in the petition that their marriage was "irretrievably broken".
The documents also revealed that the Gates's don't have a prenuptial agreement in place, but will divide their assets according to a separation agreement.
Bill Gates was formerly the world's richest person and his fortune is estimated at well over $100 billion. How the couple ends up settling their estate and any impact on the foundation will be closely watched.
The Gates's met after Melinda began working at Microsoft as a product manager in 1987. They married in 1994.
Time magazine previously reported that before Gates met Melinda, he dated Ann Winblad, a software entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Although the couple split in 1987, they still shared a strong bond.
"Even now, Gates has an arrangement with his wife that he and Winblad can keep one vacation tradition alive," the outlet alleged.
"Every spring, as they have for more than a decade, Gates spends a long weekend with Winblad at her beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they ride dune buggies, hang-glide and walk on the beach."
"We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology," Gates told the magazine in 1997.
In her 2019 memoir, The Moment of Lift, Melinda wrote about her life and the private struggles she faced as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids.
She also detailed the ways they navigated imbalances in their marriage and parenting journey. She noted how working together at the foundation made the relationship better.
"Bill and I are equal partners," Melinda told The Associated Press.
"Men and women should be equal at work."
The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It has focused on global health and development and US education issues since incorporating in 2000.
While both are global figures, Melinda has increasingly built her profile as a champion of women and girls.
The former tech business executive launched her private Pivotal Ventures investment and incubation company in 2015 and recently partnered with MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for a newly announced equity challenge.
Last year, Gates said he was stepping down from Microsoft's board to focus on philanthropy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report, which was originally published on Fox News and has been republished with permission
Originally published as Gates' divorce 'not a friendly split'