Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Monday, April 3 announced the end of his 27-year marriage with Melinda Gates, with whom he has 3 children and co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The news hit the headlines moment after he shared the statement in a tweet, revealing that they would continue to work together on their philanthropic work.
“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 to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow as a couple in this next phase of our lives.
“We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” he wrote.
It instantly drew mixed reactions, including memes and ladies ‘shooting their shots’ on social media.
Worth an estimated 129.9 billion USD, Gates is one of the richest men in the world. He is also the latest members of a billionaires singles club who have all initiated divorces with long-time partners in recent years – including Jeff Bezos and Kanye West.
Other billionaires including Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk have also hade headline-grabbing splits over the years.
In 2019, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the end of his 25-year marriage with Mackenzie Bezos.
“After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” a statement signed by the couple and tweeted by Bezos read in part.
The split followed the dramatic revelations by National Enquirer of an affair between Bezos and former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez. The Enquirer went on to release what it termed sleazy text messages exchanged between Bezos and Sanchez.
Bezos famously later shared a Medium blog claiming that the Enquirer had sought to blackmail him with the threat of sharing explicit selfies exchanged between him and Sanchez.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian, on the other hand, in February 2021 announced the end of her marriage with billionaire rapper and fashion designer Kanye West.
Kardashian issued a statement revealing that she had filed for divorce, even as she noted that they would continue to raise their children together.
The divorce came after six years of marriage. In April, they secured joint custody for their 4 children.
Interesting observations about recent billionaire divorces include their amicable nature and the fact that many of the couples remain practically tied at the hip due to various ventures.
While Melinda will continue running a global foundation with her ex-husband, Mackenzie revealed that she gave Bezos her entire holdings in Washington Post, Blue Origin and 75% of their stock in Amazon – trusting him to pursue the vision that made him one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Even Tom Steyer, the hedge fund manager and liberal politician worth an estimated 1.4 billion USD, announced at the end of his marriage that he would continue pursuing the ‘dream of justice’ with his estranged wife.