There isn’t any such factor as a billion-dollar divorce that slips underneath the radar—not to mention a $124 billion divorce.
And the Might 3, 2021, announcement that Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have been ending their marriage after 27 years got here as a shock regardless, the Microsoft cofounder and his companion in international philanthropy innocuously chugging alongside all that point, their Seattle-area house base a 66,000-square-foot mega-mansion with its personal seaside on the shore of Lake Washington.
Although there’s no such thing as too much space at occasions. (“Working from house—that was a chunk that I believe we hadn’t actually individually ready for fairly as a lot,” Melinda told The New York Times in October 2020, the remark made mid-pandemic now dripping with hindsight.)
“The odd factor about COVID is that it gave me the privateness to do what I wanted to do,” Melinda mirrored to Fortune within the fall of 2022. “It is unbelievably painful, in innumerable methods, however I had the privateness to get via it.”
Among the many rapid questions within the wake of the cut up information: What was to turn into of their eponymous basis, which since 2000 had dispersed $53.8 billion to public well being and growth initiatives, together with $20 billion of the couple’s personal Microsoft inventory? And what about all their cash basically, since one of many first behind-the-scenes particulars to return out concerning the mother and father of three was that that they had no prenuptial agreement?
Then, after all, there have been the private questions: What led them to the idea, as they stated of their official assertion, that they might not “develop collectively as a pair within the subsequent part of our lives”? What led to their marriage turning into, as Melinda’s divorce petition said, “irretrievably damaged”?