Gates said they decided to “end our marriage” after a “great deal of thought and a lot of work” – two years after the couple marked their 25th wedding anniversary and his wife admitted marital life was “really hard.”
He noted that they had raised “three incredible children” and worked to help people all over the world.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” Gates wrote.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” he concluded. Melinda tweeted an identical statement to her account.
Gates tweaked his Twitter settings so only the people he mentioned in the tweet at 4.30pm ET could reply.
After 15 minutes, his statement had amassed 2,926 retweets, it was quoted 4,489 times, and was liked 10.2K times.
Melinda previously admitted to The Sunday Times that being with Bill was often “incredibly hard” when they marked 25 years of marriage.
“‘When he was having trouble making the decision about getting married, he was incredibly clear that it was not about me, it was about ‘Can I get the balance right between work and family life?”’ she said in 2019.
Tech mogul Gates who has become a leading figure in the fight against Covid-19, was the richest man in the world until Amazon’s Jeff Bezos knocked him off his perch in 2017.
Last year, the 64-year-old became the world’s second-richest person – with a measly $124billion fortune – as he stepped down from Microsoft’s board to focus on their charitable endeavors.
Although he’s given $50 billion to charity since 1994, Gates is earning money at a faster rate than he’s donated it, according to reports.
Now, the bombshell divorce is calling the Gates fortune into question because a lot of it has not been given to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headed by the couple.
Like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, some of Gates’ biggest splurges have been on the property, recently purchasing an oceanfront colossus near San Diego, California.