In May, the Microsoft cofounder 65, and Moment of Lift author, 56, confirmed they decided to go their separate ways after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Melinda wrote at the time in a Twitter statement that Bill reposted to his own account. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
The former couple wed in Lanai, Hawaii, in January 1994 and share three children: daughter Jennifer, 25, son Rory, 22, and daughter Phoebe, 18.
After the pair announced their breakup, Us confirmed that their divorce petition did not include a signed prenuptial agreement. With an estimated net worth of $124 billion, the tech entrepreneur is the fourth richest person in the world. The twosome’s charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is also the world’s largest private charitable foundation, with an estimated $51 billion in assets.
According to documents obtained by Us, the court found that the “marriage is irretrievably broken” and ordered both parties to comply with the terms of the separation contract. No financial judgment was awarded, and no spousal support was ordered.
The judge did not order any child support, either, as all three of the former couple’s children are adults. The court also found that the division of property and personal property that the pair agreed upon is “fair (just and equitable).”
Less than one month after Melinda announced the split, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bill had a years-long affair with a Microsoft engineer that began in 2000.
“Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Us in a statement at the time. “A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.”
The newspaper claimed that the investigation into the affair prompted the Microsoft board to encourage Bill to step down from his position on the board. He announced his exit in March 2020, but a rep denied in a statement that his decision had anything to do with the affair report.
“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” the statement read. “Bill’s decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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