Why is Melinda Gates keeping surname after split? Divorce with Bill Gates finalized at $130B
Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce was finalized on Monday, August 2, 2021, nearly three months after the news of their separation shocked the world. The billionaire and his wife were married for 27 years since 1994. On May 4, 2021, Bill and Melinda took to Twitter to share the decision of their divorce. The couple share three children — daughters Jennifer Gates and Phoebe Gates and son Rory John Gates. All of their children are adults and would not be inheriting their parents' wealth.
Now, their divorce was finalized by a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County. Following the announcement of their separation, Bill Gates was accused of 'womanizing', and even sexually harassing his colleagues at Microsoft. In fact, it was revealed that Bill's inappropriate relationship with female employees at the company had strained his marriage. Melinda reportedly discovered a letter written by a Microsoft employee in 2019, which described Bill's "inappropriate sexual relationship" with a female staffer.
Since there was no prenup signed between the couple, their massive net worth of $130 billion is expected to be equally divided between the two, leaving Melinda with over $65 billion. Meanwhile, Melinda, whose maiden name was Melinda Ann French, has declared that she will continue to retain Gates as her surname even after the divorce. Melinda, who is the co-founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside her ex-husband, did not demand any spousal support from Bill. She had already procured $2 billion in stocks after filing the divorce documents, followed by Bill adding another 25 million shares of Mexican Coca-Cola to her name.
In July, during the billionaire summer camp, Bill was said to be on the verge of tears when he admitted to breaking up his marriage with Melinda. The Microsoft founder allegedly had ties with late billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which was reportedly one of the reasons his wife decided to end the marriage. Melinda stated in her divorce papers that the marriage was "irretrievably broken".
Bill reportedly sought marital counseling from convicted pedophile Epstein during dozens of alleged visits at his $77 million Manhattan townhouse between 2011 and 2014, considerably more than previously reported, according to The Daily Beast. Gates had allegedly told Epstein his marriage to Melinda was 'toxic', which both men found funny. According to an insider, his excursions to Epstein's 'lair' was an escape from the marriage because the two were extremely close.
Melinda later posted on Instagram, "It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I'm still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and am grateful for the space to do so. I won't personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me."