Bill and Melinda Gates
Source: Getty Images

The Internet Is Abuzz With Speculation Following Bill and Melinda Gates' Divorce


May. 10 2021, Updated 10:14 a.m. ET

As co-chairs of one of the most powerful philanthropic organizations in the world, Bill and Melinda Gates have done a lot of good for the planet. Recently, though, the couple announced that they would be getting a divorce after more than 25 years of marriage. The news sent shockwaves through the internet and led some people to wonder why they had decided to call it quits. 

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Why did Bill and Melinda Gates get divorced?

The couple announced their divorce via Twitter and said that they could no longer grow in their relationship with one another. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” a statement read. 

The statement continues, suggesting that the couple have “built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives” and that they “continue to share a belief in that mission." 

bill melinda gates divorce
Source: Getty Images
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However, the couple “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.” 

This statement concludes by asking for privacy as the couple begins this new chapter in their lives, but speculation persisted nonetheless, and many are looking for more details on exactly why the couple decided to split up after so many years together. 

Did Bill Gates cheat on Melinda?

Thus far, there has been very little reporting to suggest that Bill had an affair with Melinda that led to the end of their marriage. There's been some suggestion that Ann Winblad, one of Bill's girlfriends from before their marriage, may have had some role in the divorce, and there's even a rumor circulating that Bill still vacationed with Ann once a year at her beach house. 

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For now, those rumors remain largely unsubstantiated, although they provide plenty of fodder for those who are interested in speculating about the Gates' love life. In 2019, Bill and Melinda discussed Bill's initial reticence to get married, saying that Bill made a pros and cons list before committing to the relationship. At the time, Bill was still running Microsoft, and he was unsure whether he could do that and commit to marriage as well. 

Source: Twitter
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Some people also think Bill Gates' friendship with Jeffrey Epstein may be behind the divorce.

Shortly after the couple announced their intention to divorce, some began speculating that Bill's controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein may have been part of the reason for the split. According to the Wall Street Journal, Melinda had been meeting with divorce lawyers as early as 2019 to discuss the possibility of dissolving her marriage to Bill.

A former employee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly said that Melinda was not comfortable with Epstein after she met him in 2013, but that Bill continued to maintain a friendship with him despite Melinda's concerns. Bill told the Wall Street Journal in 2019 that he "didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with [Epstein]," although the New York Times reported that Bill had met with Epstein on several occasions, and even stayed at the latter's mansion on at least three occasions. 

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Did Melinda Gates have an affair?

There has been little evidence to suggest that Melinda had an affair with Bill. Although there are rumors floating around about Bill's ex, there's much less open speculation about whether Melinda was seeing somebody else. 

Whatever the cause of their divorce might have been, the divorce proceedings are likely to draw a great deal of public interest, especially as the vast amounts of money they both have gets divided up. 

Ultimately, the divorce is not likely to leave either of them homeless. Bill remains one of the wealthiest men on the planet, and the couple will continue to run their hugely successful charity organization together. Whatever led to their decision to divorce, it's clear that they remain on good enough terms to continue working together. 

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