Skip to content

Melinda Gates Says Bill Gates’s Work with “Abhorrent” Jeffrey Epstein Led to Divorce

Melinda French Gates said there were a number of factors that led to her decision to divorce her husband of 27-years Bill Gatesincluding his work with the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The philanthropist addressed their divorce publicly for the first time in a new interview with Gayle King that aired on CBS This Morning on Thursday, explaining that it was “not one thing but many things” that led to the demise of their marriage. “I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no. I made that clear to him,” she explained, adding that she met with the convicted sex trafficker “exactly one time” because she “wanted to see who this man was.” She continued, “I regretted it the second I walked in the door. He was abhorrent. He was evil personified. My heart breaks for these women.” In a statement to CBS, Bill said that “Meeting with Epstein was a mistake that I deeply regret. It was a substantial error in judgment.”

Melinda also spoke openly about her ex-husband’s affair with a staffer 20 years ago, which a spokesperson for the Microsoft co-founder confirmed in May 2021. “I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that,” she confessed. “It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there where I realized it just wasn’t healthy, and I couldn’t trust what we had.” When asked by King if there were other affairs over the course of their marriage, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation replied, “Those are questions Bill needs to answer.”

She went on to say that she “never thought” she would get divorced, but their relationship returned to a point where she felt she could no longer carry on. “Unfortunately, I felt like I needed to take a different path,” she said. “We knew that when the divorce was going to be a surprise people, and I felt bad about that. I don’t question myself now. Not at all. I gave every single piece of myself to this marriage. I was committed to this marriage from the day we got engaged and until the day I got out of it.”

And following their split, Melinda has also felt a wide range of emotions, going from “Days where I’m literally laying on the floor, on the carpet, thinking, ‘How can this be?,’” to outright anger. “That’s part of the grieving process,” she explained. “You’re grieving a loss of something you thought you had and thought you had for your lifetime. This is painful stuff.” She adds that she and Bill are now on “friendly” terms, but definitely not “friends.” “There’s still healing that needs to happen. I certainly wish him well. I don’t wish him harm. I think we have a productive working relationship, and I think that will continue,” she explained. But on a personal note, she adds, “I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter. I mean, it’s 2022 and I’m actually really excited about what’s to come and life ahead for me.” And in terms of dating again, Melinda said with a smile, “I’m dipping that toe in the water a little bit. It’s interesting at this point.”

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

— The Prince Andrew Trial That Wasn’t
— Jerry Lewis’s Costars Speak Out: “He Grabbed Me. He Began to Fondle Me. I Was Dumbstruck”
— Monica Padman’s Moment Is Now
— The Week Los Angeles Ate the Art World
—Queen Elizabeth Tests Positive for COVID-19
— Why a Judge Wants a Closer Look at Ghislaine Maxwell’s Guilty Verdict
— Nine Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Month
Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood Issue 2022: See the Full Portfolio Featuring Nicole Kidman, Kristen Stewart, and More
— 20 Best Face Exfoliators for Softer, Brighter Skin: Scrubs, Peels, and Toners
— From the Archive: Charles & Camilla, Coup of Hearts
— Sign up for “The Buyline” to receive a curated list of fashion, books, and beauty buys in one weekly newsletter.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.