Bill and melinda Gates announce separation: what we know and how much is at stake

The world was shocked after Bill and Melinda Gates announced on 3rd of May, 2021 that they intend to get a divorce to their marriage of 27 years through their separate twitter accounts

Bill gates, the fourth richest man in the world and Microsoft co-founder and his now-estranged wife Melinda gates have three children together Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18 and they have the biggest private charity in the world, The Bill and Melinda gates foundation. They have however pledged to sustain the foundation and work together at the foundation

Bill gates who has a net worth of around 140 billion dollars was the richest man in the world according to Forbes from 1995 to 2017 except year 2010 to 2013. Melinda gates on the other hand was a former manager at Microsoft (owned by bill gates), where they met and began dating, they got married on new year’s day 1994

Melinda gates reportedly first met with divorce lawyers in 2019 after details of bill gates relationship with Jeffrey Epstein became public, Melinda had earlier advised bill gates against Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted child sex offender and trafficker. Bill gates representative responded back then in 2019 that her client’s relationship with Epstein was not close and they only had meetings about philanthropy. There have however Bill gates fidelity has always in question; he was accused in the year 2000 of having an affair with a Microsoft employee and the board of directors opened an investigation on the issue 2019, he stepped down from the company’s board the following year, his spokesperson Bridgitt Arnold however claimed that bill gates did not step down because of the matter although she conceded that he actually had intimate relationship with the employee 20 years ago. Although speculations may suggest reasons for the separation, we are nevertheless not certain about the reason

What are the financial implications if they eventually divorce?

Like current world richest man and Amazon.co boss jeff Bezos divorce with his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott back in 2019, Bill and Melinda gates divorce would involve a lot of cash, since their separation announcement over three billion dollars in stock has been transferred to Melinda gates but it would cost lot more if the divorce finalises, in Jeff Bezos’ divorce, he had to transfer 4% of Amazon.co total share to his ex-wife, making her the third richest woman in the world, Melinda gates may however receive more  in the settlement.

Let’s see how the story unfolds

Written By Opeyemi Adeleye David

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