Melinda Gates consulted with divorce lawyers in 2019, because of Jeffrey Epstein


Last week, TMZ had an exclusive story on Bill and Melinda Gates. It’s mind-blowing that a huge, billionaire divorce is playing out in TMZ, People Magazine and assorted mainstream newspapers, but here we are. TMZ’s sources claimed that Melinda and Bill were trying to sort out their divorce announcement months ago, and Melinda even left town with the kids in March because she believed the divorce announcement was imminent. People Magazine made it sound like Melinda *could* do some real damage to Bill but right now she’s not thinking about it. And in all of the recent coverage, there’s a lot of energy around Melinda being disgusted that Bill spent time with Jeffrey Epstein. Now the Wall Street Journal says that Melinda consulted divorce lawyers as early as 2019. Yikes.

The split between Bill and Melinda Gates, announced last week, has been in the works for a long time. Ms. Gates consulted with divorce lawyers roughly two years before she filed for divorce from Mr. Gates, saying their marriage was “irretrievably broken,” according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The 56-year-old philanthropist has been working with lawyers at several firms since at least 2019 to unwind the marriage of more than 25 years, according to these people and the documents.

The couple hasn’t said what prompted the split. One source of concern for Ms. Gates was her husband’s dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to the people and a former employee of their charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ms. Gates’s concerns about the relationship dated as far back as 2013, the former employee said.

[From The Wall Street Journal]

2019 was the year Epstein died/killed himself in prison, and it’s not known if Melinda had decided to consult divorce lawyers before or after Epstein’s death that summer. But a near-constant in all of the coverage is that Epstein was a major factor in Bill and Melinda’s estrangement and divorce. Melinda was reportedly furious that Bill was spending any time with Epstein, especially given the fact that Bill and Epstein were introduced AFTER Epstein’s federal plea deal.

CNN already has a report on what Melinda Gates will do with all of the billions she gets from her divorce settlement. MacKenzie Scott (Bezos) really gave billionaire ex-wives the blueprint, didn’t she? Because it sounds like Melinda will just do the same thing – she’ll set up her own separate foundation and focus on women’s empowerment, education, etc.

After nearly 30 years together Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced their separation! **FILE PHOTOS**

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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66 Responses to “Melinda Gates consulted with divorce lawyers in 2019, because of Jeffrey Epstein”

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  1. Lauren says:

    Is this going to get nasty? Because if there are these many leaks into the whys and Epstein named tossed around nasty is where we are heading right? Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins soon if I’m not mistaken?

    • Darla says:

      Yeah this is really something. His reputation has taken a huge hit and we don’t even know if he did anything. I mean, I agree with her, I would have divorced him just for hanging out with the guy honestly. But she knows everyone is going to jump to conclusions here. It really makes me wonder if there is something.

      • Myjobistoprincess says:

        I agree. That transfer of stock worth 2B so that that doesnt take a plunge after something bigger than the divorce is announced is going to be something. Anything man with a association to JE is doomed. It would be very disapointing to hear BG’s involvement with sex traffic.

      • Cecilia says:

        I think Bill might be in some serious trouble because of his relationship with Epstein and Melinda knows. I think she’s jumping the gun before the Maxwell trial.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        It’s likely that there is something. Epstein was running a blackmail scheme on top of everything else. So, there’s likely evidence out there that makes him look guilty even if he didn’t actually do anything.

        Like, there’s no doubt that Andrew is guilty, but nothing would have stuck to Andrew if that fairly innocuous photo of him, Virginia, and Ghislaine didn’t exist. It would have completely gone away in 2008.

        I could see Bill confessing to Melinda when Epstein was arrested about whatever it was. I can’t see her waiting this long to divorce him if he had actually done something.

      • Sarah says:

        Interesting. I said this yesterday…

      • smarmyo says:

        If the trial starts in July, e-discovery has been under way. The divorce may be a way of dividing assets before evidence and accessories to this case are formally disclosed.

      • Joan Rivers says:

        He spent way too much time w/Epstein. Not just foundation meetings at work but “socializing.”
        Maybe hinky.
        She already let him have a weekend a year w/his ex GF!
        But he had to hang w/a pedo too?
        Please. What bad judgment on his part.

    • Lemons says:

      It seems like Melinda is definitely taking the offensive and refuses to have us believe that this is a divorce she wanted because “sh– happens.”

      There is more to the story, and she or someone from her camp is signaling that she has not been okay with it for a while BECAUSE of Epstein specifically. Otherwise, I’m sure they would be able to keep this under wraps.

    • cassandra says:

      What’s interesting is that there really hasn’t been any direct or indirect reply from Bill Gates or his PR people.

      • Ronin says:

        Given the professional and social consequences of being publicly linked to JE, the lack of reply tells me everything I need to know.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah it looks like she’s trying to get ahead of something coming out about his connections to JE.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      July is coming up awfully fast. I’m in the camp that says some BIG things are going to come out about BG. MG even made a point to send out a photo with all the kids on that private island retreat for Mothers’ Day, W/OUT Bill. She is *definitely* sending a message.

  2. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Soooooooo maybe, just maybe, Mr. Gates is a wholllllllle lot more “undercover” with his things than his nerdy persona lets on.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      Stories are coming out about Bill’s wild parties with strippers when he was single….yeah I am thinking Bill’s rep is about to take a huge hit.

  3. Seraphina says:

    Interesting the weekend away is not given any weight but the focus is Epstein. Something smells here. If this is true, then Melinda must know something about Epstein to be so adamant and it probably being the straw that broke the camel’s back.
    Meanwhile, what about Maxwell? Have we heard anything from her???

  4. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    It’s all coming out now…
    Bring everyone associated with Epstein down. Bring them all down.

  5. Cecilia says:

    This divorce is getting messier and messier and i wouldn’t be surprised it it actually is about Epstein. I think Bill was maybe far more intertwined with epstein than we know. I also think Melinda is scared some shit will be revealed, maybe in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial

    • Ellie says:

      I’m not sure how having “concerns” about Bill’s relationship with Epstein in 2013, but deciding that child sex trafficking and rape was fine by her for eight years, is the sympathy grabber she seems to think it is.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. That’s why I’m not sure I buy the story that the Epstein connection is a major factor in the divorce. Who tf knows, though.

      • Talia says:

        Maybe she found out something new in 2019 (or at the very least that’s going to be her public position)?

      • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

        It *could* be that more sh*t she DIDN’T KNOW about with BG and Epstein is going to come down (perhaps “leaked” through Ghislane’s attorneys to her attys and she is all, “That is IT!” and is breaking off before she is dragged down, too.

      • tealily says:

        I think that stance is a way of saying “hey, I didn’t know what was going on” when whatever is going to come out comes out.

      • Erika says:

        That’s why I wondered below if Gates possibly has difficulty reading social cues, and that was why he was invited along. I don’t want to start a whole thing about possible diagnoses – there are a bunch of reasons why he might genuinely have difficulty reading social cues. It seems ridiculous, and it’s definitely not an excuse, but inferences and more “nudge nudge wink wink” things that might be SO OBVIOUS to everyone else weren’t obvious to him. Then, when Melinda found out more information and that Bill hadn’t picked up on it, genuinely or not, she just couldn’t handle it. It might have been a final straw.

      • Anna says:

        Exactly. The wives are always complicit or knowledgeable in some way. At very least, profiting/enjoying the monetary results. They can’t feign ignorance on everything especially since she built this with him over 25 years.

      • SomeChick says:

        I would not necessarily say wives are automatically complicit. or even all that knowledgeable. men can be very “I will do what I want!” and not take their wives’ feelings into consideration. and/or be secretive.

        it’s been mentioned that when couples divorce with minor children in the family, custody always becomes an issue. she could have decided to put up and shut up so as not to lose the kids and/or not allow them to be exposed to the bad things.

      • Joan Rivers says:

        Why blame HER for what HE did? She may have had a clue, but they had kids, so unless she KNEW for sure, I can see her waiting till the youngest is 18 —
        which is exactly what they did.

      • Rose says:

        My ex was a teacher who slept with his students. I threw his ass to the curb but it didn’t matter; I still have people cut me dead socially years later because “the wives always know”.

        They don’t always. If someone wants to hide something from you, they can do it.

  6. Cindy says:

    I work at msft & several colleagues had been in meetings with Bill here and there in the earlier years. He has a huge ego. I guess you have to if you bring in billions. I don’t know how she lasted 25 years.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Cindy, he does give off an air of being a total dick. How Melinda survived this long baffles me, but it seems that she only stayed until they were empty nesters.

  7. Astrid says:

    I wondered why there was never and negative coverage when pictures of Bill Gates standing next to Epstein started appearing

    • Esmom says:

      I did, too, but then I read more about how Epstein was a genuine philanthropist and funder of many worthy initiatives, deliberately cultivated to distract from his criminal activities. I think that’s how some guys escaped scrutiny for their association with Epstein compared to others. I gotta believe some of his associates really had nothing to do with his sex trafficking activities.

      • Nina says:

        Given what has been said about Bill’s personality, I wonder if it’s a case of him just not understanding the pedo stuff outweighed the good he could do with the money? Nah, even as I type that it makes no sense.

      • Anastasia says:

        I wonder if Melinda was like, “Bill, this guy is trouble, I don’t like it,” and Bill was like, “But he gives away so much money, he’s such a good dude!”

        Maybe Melinda let him have it for a little bit, but it became a source of discontent, and then she was like, “fuck this” in 2019, and they’ve actually been hammering out divorce nonsense since, and that’s why their marriage has been “Limping along.”

        I’m really trying to justify Melinda not leaving him way back when, but I’m struggling.

    • Joan Rivers says:

      “I wondered why there was never and negative coverage when pictures of Bill Gates standing next to Epstein started appearing.” —

      You can say the same thing about our last POTUS —
      there are photos of DJT next to Epstein and Ghislaine.
      THAT’s the big story. And maybe, just maybe, it will come out.

      But you all focus on being mad at a computer nerd.

      • Holly says:

        He isn’t the potus anymore in case you missed it. Also if trump is complicit, throw Clinton in there too. Selective outrage does nothing to serve abusers.

  8. Saartjie says:

    I’m astonished that he hasn’t come up with a counter narrative yet. And he also doesn’t appear to be funding bots to defend him. Really odd that he is letting this Epstein narrative sit out there completely uncontested.

  9. notasugarhere says:

    Should we start referring to her as Melinda French or Melinda Ann French? I read somewhere she’s been doing that herself for a couple of years.

  10. Erika says:

    I’m a speech therapist, and at first (especially reading all of the threads from last week discussing a possible ASD diagnosis) if Bill Gates just has trouble with social cues. There are a lot of reasons someone might – from neurodivergencies to just not being great at it. That made me wonder if people like Epstein would have invited him along specifically because of that. I’m assuming that all of this stuff was very much on the DL, even amongst “regulars” (ew) so they counted on Bill to not pick up on the subtleties while also giving their “business meetings” some legitimacy. After this, though, I think whatever is going to come out is going to be really awful, and I’m here for it. Those girls deserve whatever form of justice we can provide and anyone who participated deserves to rot in a cell for the rest of their lives.

    • Esmom says:

      That’s an interesting point. In my online group for parents of kids on the spectrum, a mom was distraught because her young adult daughter had married a guy she’d only known for a few weeks. Turns out he was looking for marriage as a route to US citizenship and apparently found her easy prey. I can also see my own young adult son being absolutely oblivious to shady activities happening practically right in front of him.

      Not sure about Gates, though, or if it’s even true that he’s on the spectrum. But as I said above, Epstein apparently did have many legit businesses dealings to provide a certain degree of cover for his crimes.

      • Erika says:

        I don’t want to assume, partially because I don’t have the power to diagnose, partially because it doesn’t matter- you can have pragmatic language weaknesses without a specific diagnosis, and partially because his diagnosis or lack of is none of my business. But reading those comments and thinking about some of my own students and then finding out from my boyfriend that Epstein was involved in finance and business (I honestly knew nothing about him and didn’t care to learn more), made me wonder. Some of my kids have trouble with social cues and would definitely miss what other people would consider to be obvious. I don’t mean it to be an excuse for potential bad behavior, but it popped into my head.

        I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter. That must have been an incredibly stressful situation for the whole family and I hope they’re all doing well!

    • Amelie says:

      I am almost positive he is on the spectrum. If you watch the “Inside Bill’s Brain” Netflix docuseries that came out last year I think, he talks about his childhood and his behavior as a kid is so reminiscent of someone on the spectrum. His parents forced him to socialize, to come down and eat at dinner (he spent most of the time alone shut in his room), and to interact with other people. But you can tell by the way he talks, he would rather be solitary and isolate himself with his dense books about quantum physics and what not (he literally carries around a huge LL Bean tote bag full of heavy books everywhere). He had a pros and cons list that Melinda walked in on him doing before he proposed to her. He is very high functioning and he’s never come out and said it, but to me it’s pretty obvious.

      It doesn’t excuse his association with Epstein, but I could see how he could rationalize cultivating a relationship with a philanthropist whose crimes up until that point were mostly alleged. That’s the way his brain worked, but Melinda who is not on the spectrum was clearly not okay with this rationale. I really don’t think Bill was involved with any of the underaged girls. He is not a ladies’ man, he is so incredibly awkward and the Inside Bill’s Brain docuseries made it very clear. You see Melinda in the docuseries a lot too and while I have no idea if she was considering divorce during the filming, it really reiterates how much she had to put up with all of Bill’s idiosyncrasies.

      • StartupSpouse says:

        I have no insight whatsoever, but my guess is BG has a huge ego, is probably extremely self-centered, and probably lacks empathy of any kind. It probably takes a huge amount of energy to be married to someone like that, and even their billions of dollars cannot buy one thing: time. Melinda may have just decided enough is enough, she has limited time left on this earth, and she wants to be happy.

        I don’t think there is any scandal here. Just a woman with billions who wants to focus on herself and find happiness.

      • Erika says:

        Honestly, diagnosis or not, some people are just more concrete and black and white in their thinking than others. It could be any one of those things or a combination. Either way, I completely agree that it doesn’t excuse anything, and I’m sorry if my original post didn’t make that clear!

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @StartupSpouse – That is exactly what Marcia Lucas did.

  11. detritus says:

    So this is a bit off the general discussion but

    Notice how all these women with tons of money focus on helping other women? As soon as they divorce they almost immediately start spending to help others.

    Whereas the men do not.

    I find this interesting when you see how many men complain that women are the ones responsible for their problems. When the men with the resources to help not only dont, but actively pursue money over the uplifting of the common man. Anti union efforts being a big one.

    • L4frimaire says:

      Very interesting. Mackenzie Scott has given away a lot of money to many worthy causes while Jeff Bezos decided to block unionization efforts at Amazon and spend $500 million on a new yacht. Melinda Gates is definitely trying to get ahead of whatever news cycle is coming and get the upper hand in terms of PR. Their biggest fight will be over the direction of the foundation.

      • Courtney B says:

        And she just married a regular guy science teacher (her kids went to the school) who shares her outlook on the world. She’s really living her best life right now.

    • MM2 says:

      Yeah, you’re on to something here. This mirrors real life- divorced men tend to focus on their money & next relationship, divorced women tend to focus on making sure the family is okay. This is playing this pattern out on a macro level.

  12. Sean says:

    “His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.”

    – Bill Gates on Jeffrey Epstein after their FIRST meeting in 2011.

    Even if Bill did not partake, he knew what was up. That in and of itself is not good.

  13. Pandora says:

    Melinda knew Bill hung out with Epstein since 2011 and she waited until 2019 to divorce Bill.

    • Chrissy says:

      Giuslaine is about to spill the beans and Melinda wants to protect herself and her philanthropic work from the inevitable focus on Bill’s relationship with Epstein. The ball is now in Bill’s court IMO. Will he release a statement in an effort to save his own reputation?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        What reputation? The reputation of being self-centered and an asshole? Even Paul Allen accused Gates of being self-centered and an asshole among many other things.

      • BearcatLawyer says:

        Melinda also probably wanted to secure some money for herself and their kids before anything scandalous/criminal is revealed about Bill Gates’ interactions with Epstein and Maxwell. I also would not be surprised to learn that Bill has moved most of his money/Microsoft stock to protect his assets from potential creditors. Unlike Prince Andrew, Bill Gates does not have diplomatic immunity and is amenable to being sued in civil court in the U.S. If it turns out that Bill was complicit in any of Epstein’s or Maxwell’s crimes, he would be a very attractive target for civil lawsuits of the victims. Once Melinda and Bill are divorced though, the victims cannot pursue her assets for his crimes. Regardless of whatever else may have led to their divorce, Melinda is very smart to get $2 billion up front. I have no doubt her lawyers are already working to protect her and her children’s money and other property such that even if the divorce drags on a bit longer, they will be ok.

      • Anna says:

        Yup. Sorry, rich white people. Shit’s gonna hit the fan.

  14. Queen Vic says:

    Ghislaine’s trial has been postponed until the Fall.

  15. Sara says:

    Good for her! He saw Epstein AFTER he was convicted which is just not the smartest move for the smartest man on the planet. I’m still waiting for heavier news coverage on Epstein, what all it entailed, his strange death while being watched and ghislaine. People get distracted but we haven’t forgotten!