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melinda french gates and bill gates 2020© Getty Images

Melinda French Gates hints at 'someone new' as she details 'hard' Bill Gates divorce

The philanthropist announced her divorce from the Microsoft founder in 2021

Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
June 19, 2024
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Melinda French Gates hasn't closed herself off to finding love again following her divorce from Bill Gates

The philanthropist, 59, announced their split after 27 years of marriage in 2021, and in April, it was confirmed that she and former Fox News correspondent, Jon Du Pre had also parted ways after they were first linked in November 2022. 

Despite that failed relationship, Melinda confirmed that "of course" she is ready to meet "someone new." 

In a new interview with TIME, Melinda listed the qualities she hopes to find in her next partner. 

Discussing her ideal man, Melinda said she is looking for someone "who's open to learning and who's vibrant, and who's smart, and somebody who challenges me and that I challenge." 

Melinda hinted that she may have already found that special person when asked if she was dating someone, although she wasn't prepared to go into details, answering: "Not that I'm ready to talk about." 

Business mogul Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates donate $100 Million Dollar Check to the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health on December 2, 1998 at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City© Getty
Bill and Melinda in 1998 – they tied the knot in 1994

Elsewhere in the interview, Melinda opened up about her divorce from the Microsoft founder, explaining that the former couple separated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

She admitted that she was grateful to have a private breakup while she and Bill were at home with two of their three children. They share daughters Jennifer, 28, and Phoebe, 21, and son Rory, 25. 

bill gates and melinda french gates with their three children© Instagram
Bill and Melinda share three children

"It gave us the privacy to do what needed to be done in private," she said about going through the split during the pandemic. 

"You know, I separated first before I made the full decision about a divorce. And to be able to do that in private while I'm still trying to take care of the kids, while still making certain decisions about how you're going to disentangle your life - thank God." 

Despite going through the divorce, Melinda admitted that she is finally in a good place. 

Melinda Gates attends the Clooney Foundation for Justice's 2023 Albie Awards at New York Public Library on September 28, 2023 in New York City© Getty
Melinda is in a happy place after her divorce

"Getting a divorce is a horrible thing. It's just painful. It's awful when you realize you need one," she said, before clarifying that divorce is a "hard thing" instead of a "horrible thing". 

Now that she's over that hurdle, Melinda teased: "It has been wonderful. I'll just leave it there." 

She did share that she is very happy living in her own space: "I live in a neighborhood. Now I can walk to little stores. I can walk to the drugstore, I can walk to a restaurant," she explained. "I absolutely love it." 

Bill and Melinda Gates in the CBS Toyota Greenroom before their appearance on CBS THIS MORNING, Feb 12, 2019© Getty
Melinda and Bill divorced in 2021

Melinda has a major milestone coming up as she will turn 60 in August, but she is showing no signs of slowing down. 

"I feel like, 'Wow, I'm 60. I better surround myself with people and still travel [so that] I'm still absolutely learning, because the world is moving, the world is changing,'" she explained. 

"I'm totally unencumbered to work in any way I want," she added. 

Bill Gates and Paula Hurd attend the 2024 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 13, 2024 in Los Angeles, California© Getty
Bill is in a relationship with Paula Hurd

While Melinda is hoping to meet someone new, her ex has been dating the widow of late Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, Paula Hurd. 

Their relationship was confirmed in February of 2023, after they were spotted on various outings together, including at the Australian Open the month prior, and the Laver Cup in September of 2022.

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