A Look at the Surprising Aftermath of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates’ Divorce – JP
There’s no such thing as a billion-dollar divorce that slips under the radar—let alone a $124 billion divorce.
And the May 3, 2021, announcement that Bill Gates and Melinda Gates were ending their marriage after 27 years came as a shock regardless, the Microsoft cofounder and his partner in global philanthropy innocuously chugging along all that time, their Seattle-area home base a 66,000-square-foot mega-mansion with its own beach on the shore of Lake Washington.
Though there’s no such thing as too much space at times. (“Working from home—that was a piece that I think we hadn’t really individually prepared for quite as much,” Melinda told The New York Times in October 2020, the comment made mid-pandemic now dripping with hindsight.)
“The odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do,” Melinda reflected to Fortune in the fall of 2022. “It’s unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it.”
Among the immediate questions in the wake of the split news: What was to become of their eponymous foundation, which since 2000 had dispersed $53.8 billion to public health and development initiatives, including $20 billion of the couple’s own Microsoft stock? And what about all their money in general, since one of the first behind-the-scenes details to come out about the parents of three was that they had no prenuptial agreement?
Then, of course, there were the personal questions: What led them to the belief, as they said in their official statement, that they could no longer “grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives”? What led to their marriage becoming, as Melinda’s divorce petition stated, “irretrievably broken”?