Melinda French Gates Talks for First Time of 'Painful' Divorce

In first TV interview, Bill Gates' ex says she got to a point where 'I couldn't trust what we had'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2022 9:15 AM CST
Melinda French Gates Talks About Her 'Journey of Healing'
Melinda French Gates is seen at a gender equality conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 1, 2021.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Since her split from ex Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates hasn't made herself available for a televised interview on the breakup—until now. CBS News has a clip from her sit-down with Gayle King, who got French Gates to open up about the "painful stuff" surrounding her divorce and her subsequent "journey of healing." Some notable quotes from the preview:

  • On deciding to split: French Gates says after announcing she and Gates were parting ways, there were "a lot of tears for many days." She says she stretched out on the floor, thinking, "How can this be? How can I get up? How am I gonna move forward?"
  • Thoughts on Bill Gates' 2000 affair: "I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that. It wasn't one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn't healthy, and I couldn't trust what we had."
  • Getting over her anger: "That's part of the grieving process. You're grieving a loss of something you thought you had, and thought you had for your lifetime."
  • Moving on: "I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I'm starting to get to the other side. And I do feel like I'm turning a page in the chapter now. I mean, it's 2022 and I'm actually really excited about what's to come and life ahead for me."
  • Another split from her past: She didn't mention it in the interview clip, but last month, French Gates announced she's no longer giving away the bulk of her wealth via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sources told the Wall Street Journal that French Gates will now be spreading out her billions among multiple philanthropic options. "I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is give it away—as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible," she wrote in an updated pledge letter.
The full interview with French Gates will air on Thursday on CBS Mornings. (More Melinda French Gates stories.)

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