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Melinda Gates is opening up about her divorce from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, saying the pandemic played a role and gave her the opportunity to get out of the marriage.
“I had some reasons I just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore,” she said in an interview. “But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do. It’s unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it.”
“I kept working with the person I was moving away from, and I needed to show up and be my best self every single day,” she said. “So even though I might be crying at 9 a.m. and then have to be on a video conference at 10 a.m. with the person I’m leaving, I have to show up and be my best. I learned as a leader that I could do it. It reminded me that the foundation calls me to be my best.”
“We work with unbelievable partners around the world who were also struggling during COVID,” she said. “I was on a video call with a woman who had lost her father, and a week later she’s on a call with me, right?”
In an interview this year, Melinda mentioned that her husband’s relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein played a role.
In a tell-all interview with CBS host Gayle King, the 57-year-old spoke about infidelity and more, The Daily Beast reported. But one thing that stuck out more than the others is the role that the late convicted sex offender Epstein played in her wanting a divorce.
Melinda Gates acknowledged in an interview that her divorce from Bill Gates came about in part because of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein: “It was many things. But I did not like that he’d had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. I made that clear to him.” https://t.co/Kp34SSpQHm
— Vicky Ward (@VickyPJWard) March 3, 2022
“It was many things. But I did not like that he’d had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein,” she told King. “I made that clear to him.”
She said that she met Epstein “exactly one time because I wanted to see who this man was. And I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door. He was abhorrent. He was evil personified. I had nightmares about it afterward. So my heart breaks for these young women.”
Melinda went on to talk about her marriage to the billionaire Bill Gates and many of the troubles the couple had.
“On the day I got married, I never thought I would end up being divorced,” she said to King.
Her husband had admitted to having one affair during their marriage, but she would not confirm there were any more, saying only “those are questions Bill needs to answer.”
“I thought we had worked through some of that,” she said. “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.”
“I had a lot of tears for many days. I mean, days where I’m literally laying on the floor … thinking, ‘How can this be? How can I get up? How am I going to move forward?’” she added in a clip of the interview.
The host asked Gates about her husband having an affair with an employee when they were still married.
“I certainly believe in forgiveness,” she said. “So, I thought we had worked through some of that.”
“It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened,” she said. “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.”
Late last year, the New York Times published a story on the questionable behavior of Gates in the workplace.
In 2006, for example, he attended a presentation by a female Microsoft employee. Mr. Gates, who at the time was the company’s chairman, left the meeting and immediately emailed the woman to ask her out to dinner, according to two people familiar with the exchange.
“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” Mr. Gates wrote in an email, according to a person who read it to The New York Times.
The woman was indeed uncomfortable, the two people said. She decided to pretend it had never happened.
A year or two later, Mr. Gates was on a trip to New York on behalf of the Gates Foundation. He was traveling with a woman who worked for the foundation. Standing with her at a cocktail party, Mr. Gates lowered his voice and said: “I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” according to the woman.