No sooner did I glowingly speak of Bill and Melinda Gates’ seemingly peaceful divorce did TMZ drop an extremely strange story about the lead-up to this week’s divorce announcement. Apparently, Bill and Melinda have known that they would divorce for some time now, and their lawyers have been working through all of the issues for months. That doesn’t surprise me. What does surprise me is that it seems like Bill did *something* and Melinda was so mad that she wanted to file for divorce in March, and at the same time, Melinda took their (now adult) kids to Hawaii without Bill.
The Bill and Melinda divorce has been a done deal for months, TMZ has learned, and they had a plan to announce it back in March … a plan that included renting a remote, private island where the entire family — with one BIG exception — could avoid the media once the announcement was made … sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ.
Our sources say Melinda Gates rented Calivigny Island in Grenada … yes, she rented the entire island for $132,000 a night. The plan was for Melinda and the kids, as well as their significant others, to come to the island — everyone except Bill. We’re told everyone in the family already knew Bill and Melinda were divorcing. There was a considerable amount of acrimony associated with the split and we’re told virtually everyone in the family took Melinda’s side. Another way of putting it … we’re told they were very angry at Bill, and that’s why he wasn’t invited.
The reason for going to the island … so no one from the media could reach them and ask about the split when it was announced during their stay. But, there was a problem … lawyers for both Bill and Melinda were trying to hash out a divorce settlement and there were still outstanding issues that couldn’t be resolved at the time of the trip. We’re told Melinda decided to go anyway … well, with everyone BUT Bill.
So here’s the takeaway. First, we’re told this was not a friendly split. We’re told Melinda and most of the family were furious at Bill for various things they claim he had done. Second … it’s clear this divorce has been a long time in the making. And, finally, it appears they have all but reached a property settlement given the lawyers have been working on it for months and Bill transferred nearly $2 billion in stock to Melinda on the very day she filed for divorce. These things are not done piecemeal … it would almost certainly have been part of a global settlement.
I miss the good old days when the worst thing we were talking about was the fact that Bill Gates has an annual “long weekend” vacation with an ex-girlfriend. Lord. Looks like Bill and Melinda are having a huge, dramatic split after all. And if sh-t is being leaked to TMZ already, then it’s probably going to get worse! I hope the scandal is more of Jeff Bezos variety, where there’s an adult side chick involved and a conspiracy involving someone named David Pecker.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Avalon Red.