Melinda Gates describes tough times

Everyone going through divorce loses 3 things:

1. Whatever the partner receives in settlement
2. Their lawyer’s fees (actually an investment for the future)
3. Themselves until they have recovered from the trauma

Melinda Gates story is a good example of the difficulty of carrying on with life / business while your marriage is breaking up.

We always refer to a counsellor when emotions get hot, and we are successful in achieving a settlement by consent in the vast majority of cases.

Read more in this Daily Mail article by Charlie Lankston and Rachael Bunyan

‘I would have days where I would be in tears the hour before an online meeting’: Melinda Gates describes tough times she endures as she battled to keep working while she hammered out divorce with Bill as she reveals more details on their split

  • The 57-year-old philanthropist is set to speak out about her divorce from Bill, 66, for the first time in an interview airing on CBS Mornings on Thursday
  • In a teaser, Melinda speaking about being ‘in tears’ before meetings after breakdown of 27-year marriage 
  • Bill and Melinda shocked the world when they announced in May 2021 that they were splitting up after 27 years of marriage; their divorce was finalized in August
  • The couple, who share three children together, are understood to have split their $130 billion fortune in the divorce agreement, and Melinda kept Bill’s last name
  • Weeks after they announced their split, Bill was rocked by multiple accusations that he behaved inappropriately towards female employees at Microsoft 
  • Multiple reports surfaced claiming that he pursued extramarital affairs; Bill’s spokeswoman confirmed he had an affair with an employee in 2000  

Melinda Gates has spoken of having days of being ‘in tears’ just before a meeting while she hammered out her divorce from billionaire Microsoft founder Bill as she revealed more details of their split in a tell-all interview with CBS Mornings host Gayle King.  

The 57-year-old, who shocked the world when she and Bill announced in May 2021 that they were ending their 27-year marriage, is seen in a preview teaser for the interview – which will air on March 3 – saying that she endured emotionally challenging times whilst working with the billionaire.

A short trailer posted by CBS Evening News shows Melinda speaking about how, despite the couple going through their divorce behind the scenes, they were still able to work at the Gates Foundation ‘effectively together’. 

Melinda said: ‘First of all we both want to work together – we founded this institution in 2000 – both of us. It has both of our names on the building. I believe in that institution, my values ae baked into that institution. So I have always felt like it calls us to be our higher selves.

‘Even during the difficult times in the last 18 months while we were going through this process behind the scenes, we were able to show up and work effectively together. 

‘I’m not saying it was easy but I’m saying for me I had days where I had tears the hour before an online meeting or I’d be angry but I still rose to be my higher self and I think we can continue to do that. 

In another short trailer posted by CBS Mornings, Melinda suggested that ‘trust was broken’ in her relationship with the billionaire businessman.   

King, 67, asked Melinda: ‘Once trust is broken, isn’t it hard to get it back?’ to which the philanthropist responded: ‘Very, it’s very hard to get it back, in any relationship.’ 

Another clip sees her speaking out about her husband’s affair for the first time; it was revealed last year that Bill had an extramarital relationship with a female Microsoft employee in 2000, six years after he and Melinda tied the knot.

Speaking to Gayle about how the affair might have contributed to the divorce, Melinda admitted that the couple tried to ‘work through’ the betrayal, but that ultimately the trust between them could not be rebuilt.   

‘I certainly believe in forgiveness so I thought we had worked through some of that,’ she said of the couple’s attempt to work through Bill’s affair. 

‘It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened, there just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn’t healthy, and I couldn’t trust what we had.’ 

Despite knowing that divorce was the only option left for her, Melinda admitted that she was left devastated by the split, having believed for much of their marriage that the relationship would last a lifetime. 

‘I think it’s really important to say, look, I had a lot of tears for many days, I mean days where I’m literally lying on the floor on the carpet… thinking, ‘How can this be? How can I get up? How am I going to move forward?” she revealed.  

‘[There were] days [where] I certainly was angry. That’s part of the grieving process. You’re grieving a loss of something you thought you had and thought you had for your lifetime. This is painful stuff.

‘At the end of the day though I started on this journey of healing and I feel like I’m starting to get to the other side. And I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter now. It’s 2022 and I’m actually really excited about what’s to come and life ahead of me.’ 

The interview – which marks the first time that Melinda has publicly addressed her split from Bill – comes 10 months after the former couple first revealed to the world that they were separating, and just seven months after they finalized their $130 billion divorce settlement. 

However, while Bill and Melinda have remained silent about what prompted their split, just weeks after their announcement, the Microsoft founder was rocked by several accusations that he behaved inappropriately towards female employees at the tech company. 

In May 2021, multiple reports surfaced claiming the billionaire pursued extramarital affairs with women working at Microsoft; that same month, Bill’s spokesperson confirmed that he’d had an affair with a female staff member in 2000, while he was married to Melinda. 

Bill was CEO of the company at the time. It is not clear what position or level of seniority the employee was. 

The affair stayed a secret until 2019 when the employee wrote a letter to the board detailing what had happened and allegedly asking that Melinda read it.

The company opened an investigation into the claims.

While the investigation was still ongoing in March 2020, Bill shocked the business world by announcing he was resigning from his position on the company board. 

The same day Bill stood down from the board of Berkshire Hathaway, run by his friend Warren Buffet.

In June of last year, Buffet announced he was resigning from the board of the Gates Foundation, on which Melinda and Bill still work together as co-chairs.  

Although Bill has never spoken publicly about the split, he is reported to have told attendees at the Sun Valley conference in Idaho in July that the divorce was ‘his fault’. 

While attending the so-called ‘billionaire summer camp’, the Microsoft founder opened up about the couple’s pending divorce in an ‘off the record’ question-and-answer session, according to the New York Post.

In the session, a tearful Bill reportedly admitted that the breakdown of the marriage was his fault. 

‘He fessed up to messing up,’ one attendee told the Post. ‘He basically referred to the fact that it [the divorce] was his fault.’

The source added: ‘He did seem a bit emotional about it. He might have been on the verge of tears.’

However, in the seven months since their divorce was finalized, the former couple has put on an amicable display, coming together in October of last year to host the wedding of their eldest child Jennifer, who tied the knot with Egyptian equestrian Nayel Nassar in a lavish ceremony at her 142-acre estate in North Salem, New York.

blog 31 melinda gates describes tough times image 2 min | penny raby co

Melinda has also thrown herself into the fight for gender equality, pledging in June 2021 that the Gates Foundation would spend $2.1 billion on the cause over five years – one of the largest single commitments the organization had made in more than two decades.

The philanthropist’s pledge seemed to send a clear message about her split from her ex-husband; Melinda had long pushed for gender equality to be a key priority for the Seattle-based foundation, while Bill had instead prioritized polio eradication and the development of vaccines.

Melinda is set to speak out about her fight for gender equality during her CBS Mornings interview, the network revealed on Twitter – with a press release also revealing that the mother-of-three will take part in a ‘new ongoing series for Women’s History Month titled ‘Changing the Game”. 

‘CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas and French Gates will talk to three female titans in their industries who are changing the world: filmmaker Ava DuVernay, groundbreaking scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, and labor activist Ai-Jen Poo,’ the statement reads.  

We are very experienced in dealing with all things divorce.  Contact us here at Penny Raby & Co if this applies to you.

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