Melinda Gates allegedly began divorce proceedings back when Bill Gates’ ties to Jeffrey Epstein came to light. 

Last week, it was announced that billionaire Bill Gates and his wife are getting a divorce.

They made the announcement via Twitter.

Their statement reads: “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.

“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.”

Together they have built up a combined $124bn (£89bn) fortune. This figure makes them among the five richest couples in the world.

Despite their riches, the Gates – along with investor Warren Buffett – are behind the Giving Pledge.

The pledge calls on billionaires and the world’s wealthiest to commit to giving away the majority of their riches to good causes.

Jeffrey Epstein

Now, it has been suggested that Melinda Gates began talking to divorce lawyers nearly two years ago.

Wall Street Journal has said that “people familiar with the matter”  have confirmed that Bill’s relationship with Epstein was “one source of concern” for Melinda.

In 2019, the New York Times brought to light Bill Gates’ ties to Epstein. Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier and sex offender. He killed himself in jail in 2019.

Epstein was known to have connections to many other rich and powerful men.

It was noted by The New York Times that of all those who had been revealed to be connected to Epstein, none “compared in prestige and power to the [then] world’s second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates”

“And unlike many others, Mr Gates started the relationship after Mr Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.”

According to The Daily Beast, Melinda had warned Bill against being associated with Epstein in 2013.

By 2013, Epstein had already been convicted of sex crimes. However, Gates is thought to have continued to meet with Epstein.

Neither Bill nor Melinda have responded to the allegations.

A spokesperson, however, told the journal that he still stands by the following statement: “I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him.”

Images via Alamy