“I kept working with the person I was moving away from, and I needed to show up and be my best self,” said Melinda Gates.
Melinda French Gates said her divorce from Bill Gates was "unbelievably painful" in an interview with Fortune magazine. "I had some reasons I just couldn't stay in that marriage anymore," the 58-year-old philanthropist said, as per PEOPLE. "But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do," she added. "It's unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it," Melinda Gates opened up. Melinda married Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 66, in 1994. They filed for divorce in May 2021.
Melinda has three children with Bill Gates: Jennifer, 25, Rory, 23, and Phoebe, 19. She said that they were her priority. "My main concern, of course, was trying to protect my kids through it. And we got to the other side," said Melinda Gates. The former couple founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2001 and they continue to work together at the organization. “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,” the philanthropist 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,” she added. Melinda has said in the past that they remain "friendly" with each other and keep professional ties. "Certainly, I wish him well — I don't wish him harm," she said at the time. "And I think we have a productive working relationship, and I think that will continue."
She said that her "the lowest moment" in her life was when she decided to divorce her husband. "That wasn't something I ever thought would happen to me," she said at the time. "It certainly wasn't what I thought on the day I got married, but I realized for myself, I needed to make a healthier choice," she said. Melinda cried a lot and was grieving a loss following her divorce. She shared that going through the pandemic with people who were having hard times made her give the best at work. “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?”
Here's to 2022 being the year that we put women at the heart of our pandemic recovery by prioritizing their voices, well-being, and success.— Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) January 1, 2022
What are your hopes for 2022?
Bill Gates was said to have had an affair with one of the employees at Microsoft and had asked out many women while being married to Melinda. He described the last two years as "pretty dramatic" with COVID and divorce but he said that the "weirdest part" for him has been his children leaving.
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