Bill Gates opens up on divorce saying past year brought great personal sadness

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has opened up about life after divorce.

The man who created Microsoft divorced wife Melinda earlier this year, after being together for 27 years.

At the time of announcing the split, they said it had been done with a “great deal of thought and a lot of work”.

But now Mr Gates has penned an open letter on his website to talk about how the last 12 months has gone – both professionally and personally.

He said: “Even though I think the things I’ve been working on are by far the most interesting part of my year, I know a lot of people are curious about a subject closer to home: my divorce.

“Melinda and I continue to run our foundation together and have found a good new working rhythm, but I can’t deny that it’s been a year of great personal sadness for me.

“Adapting to change is never easy, no matter what it is.

“I’ve been impressed by how resilient my loved ones – especially my kids – have been in this challenging time.”

The wife of 65-year-old father of three children – to Jennifer, 25, Rory, 22, and Phoebe, 19 – had previously spoken of how difficult her husband found the marriage.

She previously told The Sunday Times that being with her husband was often "incredibly hard" when they marked 25 years of marriage in 2019.

Melinda said: “When he was having trouble making the decision about getting married, he was incredibly clear that it was not about me, it was about: 'Can I get the balance right between work and family life?'”

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Elsewhere in Mr Gates' open letter, he touched on the pandemic and admitted that it has been a “strange and disorienting experience”.

He also spoke about how difficult it has been seeing his children grow up, and leave the family home.

He said: “My personal world has never felt smaller than it did over the last twelve months.

“My family also experienced a lot of changes beyond what you probably saw in the news – my oldest daughter, Jenn, got married this fall, and her wedding was the highlight of my year.

“Our youngest, Phoebe, graduated from high school and went off to college.

“Since my son Rory is also away at school, that means I’m officially an empty nester – the house is a lot quieter without a bunch of teenagers hanging around all the time.

“I miss having them at home, even if it is easier to focus on reading a book or getting work done these days.”

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