A year on from their divorce, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has opened up about his split from ex-wife Melinda, including admitting he ’caused pain’ when asked about rumors of affairs during their marriage
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Bill Gates has opened up about his split from ex-wife Melinda French Gates during an interview with BBC’s Today programme.
Bill and Melinda announced their divorce last year in a joint statement they both posted to Twitter, saying: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
The pair were together for 27 years, during which time they had three children and also established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest nonprofits in the world.
Speaking about the divorce, the billionaire said: “My life is very different. My kids are gone from the house, the last one left for college a year ago. The divorce is very hard. It was a tough year.”
Their split further sparked rumors of Bill’s questionable behavior during the marriage but now the billionaire has shed further light on what happened between him and his ex-wife.
Bill Gates’s extra-marital affair rumors
Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce came as rumors began to circulate that Bill had cheated on his wife.
When asked if he had been unfaithful during his 27-year marriage with Melinda, Bill said: “I certainly made mistakes, and I take responsibility,”
He added: “I have responsibility for causing a lot of pain to my family. It was a tough year. I feel good that all of us are moving forward now.”
But when asked to delve further into the rumors about an extramarital affair he refused, saying: “I don’t think delving into the particulars at this point is constructive, but yes, I caused pain and I feel terrible about that.”
Speaking about the affair rumors to CBS following their divorce, Melinda said: “It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened.
“There just came a point in time where there was enough there where I realized it just wasn’t healthy, and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
Melinda wasn’t happy about Bill’s Jeffrey Epstein meetings
But it wasn’t just the rumors of an affair that led to the breakdown of their relationship.
In March Melinda Gates claimed that one of the factors that led to their divorce was Bill’s work with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. She told CBS: “I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no. I made that clear to him.”
Bill also opened up about his meetings with Epstein during the Today interview, making it clear that he felt they were a “mistake.”
He said: “I made a mistake ever meeting with Jeffrey Epstein. You know, maybe her [Melinda’s] instincts on that were keener than mine.
“Any meeting I had with him could be viewed as almost condoning his evil behaviour. So, that was a mistake.”
Life after Bill and Melinda’s divorce
The pair have now both publicly opened up about their divorce since announcing the split last May, but they seem to have differing opinions.
In an interview with The Times Bill said: “I wouldn’t have changed it. You know, I wouldn’t choose to marry someone else.”
He also spoke about how he’s happy that he still gets to work with his ex-wife and explained that they have a “super-important, complex, close relationship.”
But in her interview with CBS, Melinda said that while she and Bill were on “friendly terms” she does not consider them “friends”.
He said: “There’s still healing that needs to happen. I certainly wish him well. I don’t wish him harm. I think we have a productive working relationship, and I think that will continue.”