Melinda Gates' rare comments about 'difficult times' during divorce from billionaire Bill

The Microsoft co-founder and his wife split in May 2021

Melinda Gates has kept her divorce from Bill Gates largely private, but she recently made a rare comment about the breakdown of their 27-year marriage.

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The former couple, who founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, announced their split in May 2021. During a chat with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, Melinda opened up about what "held them together" through the "difficult times". When Robin asked the 58-year-old philanthropist, "What did you learn about yourself during [your divorce]?" Melinda replied: "I learned that our philanthropy actually called us to be our best selves, even during the most difficult times behind the scenes.

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WATCH: Melinda Gates opens up about her divorce from billionaire Bill Gates

"When we were working through the specifics of the divorce and there was sadness, we were still both showing up for the foundation. 

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"I think that held us together and allowed more grace during that period, and since then, it's kind of smoothed things over on the back end."

Melinda and Bill, who is reportedly worth $130billion, met in the 1980s when Melinda joined Bill's company Microsoft.

Melinda Gates revealed their foundation helped them through their divorce

They got married in 1994 in Hawaii, reportedly after filling out a pro/con list, and they went on to welcome three children together - Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.

However, their relationship sadly came to an end in 2021 with the pair releasing a statement on Twitter. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.

"Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives," it read.

The couple released a joint statement announcing their split in May 2021

"We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

In May 2022, on the first anniversary of the announcement, Bill opened up about his "sad and tragic" divorce and admitted he made "mistakes".

"I certainly made mistakes, and I take responsibility," the 66-year-old told Today, following allegations that he was unfaithful.

"The divorce is definitely a sad thing. I have responsibility for causing a lot of pain to my family. It was a tough year. I feel good that all of us are moving forward now."

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