Billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates has spoken out about her and Bill’s high-profile divorce, and the events that led up to it. In May 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they would be splitting up after twenty-seven years of marriage. The divorce was finalized in August.
Since their high-profile separation, Melinda Gates has kept relatively quiet about her side of the story. On Thursday morning, she let it all out in her first TV interview as a divorcee.
Speaking with CBS Morning‘s Gayle King, Melinda detailed the effect of her and Bill’s divorce, while emphasizing that she has been getting back on the path to happiness.
Melinda began by stating that she never thought her and Bill’s marriage would end, and said she didn’t anticipate how big of a story it would be when it did.
Prior to the divorce, it was revealed that Bill had been having an affair.
“Well I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that,” Melinda said when asked about her ex-husband’s infidelity. “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.”
King then brought up Bill’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and asked if that played a role in the divorce.
“I did not like how he’d had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no.” Melinda revealed that she had regretfully met Epstein “exactly one time,” calling him “abhorrent” and “evil personified.”
Melinda then recalled the emotional toll the divorce has taken on her.
“I had a lot of tears for many days—I mean days where I’m literally laying on the floor and the carpet this close to me, thinking ‘How can this be, how can I get up, how am I gonna move forward?'”
She also admitted that there were days she was angry. “That’s part of the grieving process,” she said. “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,” Melinda continued, “I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I’m starting to get to the other side.” She added that she’s feeling “excited” about what’s next to come in her life.
Bill and Melinda have three children together, and are reported to have split their $130 billion fortune in the divorce. She continues to do charitable work, and serves as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to their website.