Melinda French Gates has opened up about how she handled working with Bill Gates while they were finalising their divorce last year. She told Fortune magazine she had to show up as her best self every day despite her pain.
The high-profile couple finalised their divorce in August 2021 but continue running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation together.
French Gates said being a leader showed her she could keep her emotions and work separate. "So even though I might be crying at 9 a.m. and then have to be on a videoconference at 10 a.m. with the person I’m leaving, I have to show up and be my best," she told Fortune magazine.
"We work with unbelievable partners around the world who were also struggling during COVID," she continued. "I was on a video call with a woman who had lost her father, and a week later she’s on a call with me, right? "
The former couple, who were married for nearly 30 years, fell out because of several reasons. One of them, that Melinda Gates and Bill Gates, both acknowledged publicly, was the latter's meetings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Gates told CNN in an interview he had “several dinners” with Epstein to raise funds for philanthropy.
“When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended… it was a huge mistake to spend time with him," the Microsoft co-founder added.
The billionaire philanthropist has also spoken frankly about his marriage and life changes in interviews.