22:31 GMT15 June 2021
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    Billionaire Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, and his wife of 27 years, Melinda, announced on 3 May that their marriage was coming to an end. But according to sources familiar with the situation, the split is not quite as amicable as the decoupling duo wants to present it.

    Bill and Melinda Gates were ready to reveal they were no longer an item back in March but were stopped by their lawyers who were still trying to forge a divorce settlement before the split was formally announced, anonymous sources tell TMZ.

    Melinda was expecting the divorce statement to cause a furore in the media and to avoid that she'd already made her escape and is said to be staying on the remote Calivigny Island in Grenada which she is believed to renting for $132,000 per night. The divorce announcement was postponed until May – but Melinda decided to go to the island anyway, taking her three children and significant others with her.

    Bill Gates was noticeably absent from the luxurious retreat, as the family is said to have been “very angry” with him, although they haven't stated why.

    Despite a peaceful “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple” statement shared by the former spouses on 3 May, the split is reportedly far from friendly, insiders have revealed to TMZ.

    Moreover, it’s believed that all of those who fled with Melinda to the 25-suite island owned by French millionaire Georges Cohen, have taken her side while remaining “furious” with the Microsoft co-founder “for various things they claim he had done”.

    (L-R) Phoebe Adele Gates, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates attend the Goalkeepers 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 20, 2017 in New York City
    © AFP 2021 / Getty Images North America / Jamie McCarthy
    (L-R) Phoebe Adele Gates, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates attend the Goalkeepers 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 20, 2017 in New York City

    It is still not clear what has caused the end of a philanthropy-bounding and money-rich marriage which has lasted for 27 years, but TMZ earlier reported that Melinda was the first one to file for the divorce, allegedly saying in court papers that the marriage was “irretrievably broken”.

    Only one of the couple’s children, 25-year-old Jennifer Katharine Gates, has publicly spoken on the issue so far. On her Instagram page she cryptically noted that the Gates family was currently going through “a challenging stretch of time”.

    No other detail was disclosed about the split, apart from rumours that it was caused by Bill’s affair with young Chinese interpreter Zhe 'Shelly' Wang who was working for the couple’s foundation, but she herself has staunchly denied the allegations. Now, the media is focusing on the billionaire’s “annual” vacations with his pre-Melinda girlfriend Ann Winblad; Melinda reportedly agreed to the arrangement back in 1994 when she and Bill tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on the Lanai Island near Hawaii.

    divorce, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, Bill Gates
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