Bill And Melinda Gates Announce Separation
Bill and Melinda Gates, the chairmen and founders of their eponymous research foundation, announced Monday that they would end their marriage.
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife, the company's former CEO, have been married for 27 years.
"Over the past 27 years we have raised three incredible children and created a foundation that works around the world to help all people live healthy and productive lives," the couple said in a joint statement. "We continue to share our belief in this mission and will continue to work with the Foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."
One of the most powerful philanthropic companies in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focused on health, poverty and education-related causes. It was launched in 2000 and is now valued at $ 49.8 billion. Billionaire Warren Buffett is the company's third trustee alongside Gateses.
Considered one of the richest people in the world, Bill Gates held the title of the richest person in the world for several years until he was usurped by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, who announced in 2019 that he and his wife would subsequently separate 25 years of marriage.
The Gateses share a mansion in Medina, Washington, as their primary residence.
Bill Gates came under fire last month when he spoke out against the removal of patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines called for by many activists following a fatal surge in coronavirus in India. Gates said he was concerned that moving production to new factories outside of the U.S. would risk a manufacturing problem, while critics accused him of trying to protect intellectual property laws from which he continues to benefit .
The billionaire is also haunted by a relationship he began with late-convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2011 after Epstein was imprisoned for underage prostitution and forced to register as a sex offender. The New York Times covered the details of Gates and Epstein's relationship in 2019 after Epstein committed suicide in prison. Several people familiar with their relationship said Gates went to Epstein's New York house at least three times and stayed late at least once.
Prior to the Times report, Gates denied any connection with Epstein, who was known for bringing rich and powerful people into his inner circle with the promise of business opportunities.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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