A new report from People magazine revealed that news of billionaire Bill Gates splitting from wife Melinda came as no surprise to those close to the couple.
People said a source with knowledge of the situation told them a “combo of things” led to the pair deciding to file for divorce this month.
A “challenging” situation
The pair were reportedly married for 27 years, but their divorce was said to have been a long time coming. A source told People that they waited for the youngest of their three children to graduate from high school to cut things off.
“It’s absolutely because their youngest child is graduating from high school, and the idea was that they stayed together through that,” the source explained. “They limped through until their kids were out of school like a lot of people,” they added.
The couple’s middle child, Jennifer, said in a post on Instagram that the situation has been “challenging” for the “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,” Jennifer Gates added, according to a separate report from People. “Thank you for understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives.”
The divorce papers were reportedly filed Monday. The couple was said to have already reached an agreement on the separation of their assets.
A look ahead
According to CBS News, Bill Gates, known widely as the co-founder of Microsoft, is the fourth richest man in the world. The 65-year-old has a net worth of over $130 billion.
In a statement, Bill and Melinda Gates said the decision to divorce came “after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship.”
“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,” the couple said, according to CBS. The two also made reference to their philanthropic efforts, including their eponymous Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which one expert called “the most influential and important philanthropic organization in the world” in an interview with Bloomberg.
“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 Gates’ statement said.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” the pair added.