Bill Gates On How He and Melinda Split Wealth in Divorce

While Bill and Melinda Gates had no prenup when they dissolved their marriage of over a quarter century, they are said to have split their enormous wealth amicably.

But there’s still plenty of questions about how everything was divvied up.

In a lengthy interview with The Times, Bill spoke candidly about his enduring respect and love for Melinda — he says he’d marry her all over again — and gave some insight into his finances.

It’s well-known that Gates made-off very well investing during the pandemic, which he told The Times enabled him to donate a record amount of money.

“Microsoft is, like, I don’t know, 10 per cent or 12 per cent of my wealth,” he explained. “But stocks in general did well, so yes, it meant we could give away a record amount of money. With Warren Buffett [the investor and Gates’s bridge partner], I would talk about how we could get all philanthropists to up their rate of giving, in particular the tech sector because digitization got a huge boost alongside online shopping.”

However, he would not spill on how much he actually made during the past two years: “In my case you have to adjust for the fact that I was married and now I’m divorced, but I’m still very well off whereas most people struggled and many countries’ economies have tanked.”

So exactly how much did that divorce impact him finance-wise?

“It’s hard to know if I care or not, because I’m maxed out,” he said.

“I have a supernice house,” he acknowledged of his 66,000sq ft Seattle home, featuring a private beach filled with imported Caribbean sand. “We spent some time coming up with a fair settlement that we both signed. But neither of us was facing any real reduction in our consumption. It was more about, OK, I’ll have x billion to give away, you’ll have y billion to give away. It was about the causes.”

He then went on to joke, “She got the dog. She just killed me with that. No, I’m kidding. The world should know how mistreated I was. No, I’m kidding. We weren’t mean to each other.”

But this sense of abundance was not always there — nor were the vast sums he currently now has.

“I always thought I was on the verge of failure,” he reflected, referencing the early days of Microsoft. “That’s part of the mentality. So back then I didn’t believe that anybody should have a plane or be too extravagant. I worried it could all go wrong. But I’ve learnt to relax and enjoy myself more, and that’s thanks somewhat to Melinda.”

Melinda French Gates recently spoke about their divorce, which you can read more about below:

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