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While reflecting on the end of his marriage, Bill Gates opened up about where he and Melinda Gates stand now.
“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,” Bill, 66, explained during an interview with Today‘s Savannah Guthrie on Tuesday, May 3.
The billionaire noted that the former couple are still working together on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation after their “sad and tragic” split. In response to a question about his rumored infidelity, Bill said, “I certainly made mistakes and I take responsibility. I don’t think delving into the particulars at this point is constructive, but yes I caused pain and I feel terrible about that.”
Bill and Melinda, 57, dated for seven years before tying the knot in January 1994. Last year the pair, who share daughter Jennifer, 26, son Rory, 22, and daughter Phoebe, 19, confirmed their decision to part ways after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the Moment of Lift author tweeted in May 2021, three months before their divorce was finalized. “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. 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 this next phase of our lives.”
Shortly after their breakup made headlines, The Wall Street Journal reported that Bill allegedly had a years-long affair with one of the company’s engineers that began in 2000. A rep for the Microsoft cofounder confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly that “there was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”
Melinda, for her part, recently revealed that the affair wasn’t the reason for their divorce. “It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened,” she told CBS Mornings in March. “There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn’t healthy and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
During his appearance on Today, Bill weighed in on Melinda’s comments about their marriage coming to an end. “This was a very tough thing. We had a lot of amazing things in our marriage. The kids, the foundation, the enjoyment we had. And so it’s a very hard adjustment,” he added on Tuesday. “I know divorces are different, but it’s just a complete change. We were partners, we kind of grew up together, and now that’s different. We’re not married.”