Melinda Gates started trying to divorce Bill Gates in 2019 after meeting Epstein, reports show

<p> Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates present the goaltending event at Lincoln Center on September 26, 2018, in New York City </p>
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Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates present the Goalkeeper Event at Lincoln Center on September 26, 2018, in New York City

(AFP via Getty Images)

Melinda Gates, the ex-wife of the co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates, reportedly began consulting with divorce lawyers in 2019, around the time reports of multiple meetings between convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and her husband emerged.

Thethe Wall Street newspaper said, citing sources, that one of the reasons for the multi-millionaire philanthropic couple’s split is that Mr Gates is dealing with Epstein, died by suicide in prison in 2019.

While the couple, in a joint statement on May 3, announced their decision to end 27 years of married life, neither have yet disclosed the reason for the separation.

According to WSJ, Ms Gates said her union with her husband was “irretrievably broken” and that she had been working with lawyers from different firms since 2019 to prepare for divorce.

His calls with the attorneys were scheduled around the same time the New York Times published a detailed report on her future ex-husband’s multiple encounters with Epstein three years after being convicted of soliciting underage girls in 2008. According to the NYT, Mr. Gates has met Epstein at least three times in his lavish Manhattan townhouse since 2011.

Ms Gates, who had met Epstein alongside her husband in 2013, at the time shared her concerns with Mr Gates about the relationship between the two men, reported the daily beast.

Calling it an “error in judgment,” Ms Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr Gates, had said NYT that the two had met to discuss philanthropy work and that Mr. Gates regrets ever meeting Epstein.

When WSJ contacted for comment with a spokeswoman for Mr Gates, she said he stuck to her previous statement and declined to comment further.

In 2020, the Gates couple were already discussing sharing their vast wealth and legal teams on both sides were working with a separation mediator, the newspaper reported.

According to the divorce file, the couple agreed to share their fortune estimated at $ 130 billion. Last week, Mr. Gates’ investment firm transferred nearly $ 2.4 billion in public company shares to Ms. Gates.

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