Yesterday, we reported that Bill and Melinda Gates had shocked the world by announcing that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. Now, disturbing new details about their divorce are coming to light.
Court documents obtained by NBC News show that Melinda said in her filing that her marriage to Bill is “irretrievably broken.” She filed a petition for divorce on Monday in King County, Washington in which she said that “spousal support is not needed” and a separation contract will determine property divisions.
“We ask the court to dissolve our marriage and find that our marital community ended on the date stated in our separation contract,” her filing continued.
It is not clear at this time when exactly Bill and Melinda separated, nor is it known if they had a prenuptial agreement in place.
Bill, 65, and Melinda, 56, announced their divorce to the world on Monday in a joint statement.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in a statement. “Over the last 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 went on to say that they will continue to work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation moving forward.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” their statement concluded. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Jennifer Katharine Gates, 25, the oldest of Bill and Melinda’s three children, said in a statement that it has “been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family.”
“I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time,” she continued.
Bill and Melinda met in 1987 when she was working at Microsoft, the company he founded, as a marketing manager. They married in 1994, and seemed devoted to one another over the years, which makes their divorce all the more shocking.
“In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner,” Bill said in the 2019 Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain.” “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am.”