Bill Gates' wife Melinda 'consulted divorce lawyers TWO YEARS before she filed to end "irretrievably broken" marriage'

BILL Gates' divorce from his wife has been in the works for around two years after she reportedly spoke to lawyers back in 2019, it has been revealed.

The business magnate announced last week he and Melinda would be parting ways after 27 years of marriage.

But although it was a shock announcement to many, Melinda had actually consulted with divorce lawyers for the first time roughly two years before she filed papers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Melinda reportedly had been working with firms for months on end to put a stop to her marriage to Microsoft co-founder Bill.

The 56-year-old philanthropist then filed papers in court confirming that the marriage was "irretrievably broken".

One former employee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation told the Journal that Melinda's concerns about the relationship dated back to 2013, and that one of her main worries was about Bill's reported ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

It comes after insiders claimed the divorce was "not friendly" and the split has been a "long time coming".

Melinda reportedly rented a $132,000-a-night Caribbean private island for her family earlier this year during the "acrimonious" split from billionaire Bill.

She fled to Calivigny Island in Grenada with her three children to escape media scrutiny, sources told TMZ.

The split was branded "unfriendly" as Melinda headed to the island while lawyers were frantically trying to finalize a settlement.

All family members, except Bill, were reportedly invited to the 80-acre Caribbean hideaway.

Insiders claim Bill was not invited as "there was a considerable amount of acrimony associated with the split".

The pair announced their split on Twitter last week, citing that the marriage was "irretrievably broken".

However, the couple are going to continue with their charity work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives," Bill said.

"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

Melinda tweeted an identical statement to her Twitter account.

The couple's daughter, Jennifer, commented on the divorce in an Instagram story shortly after her parents went public.

The eldest daughter said: "I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as my family members at this time and am grateful for the space to do so.

"I won't personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me."

Tech mogul Bill Gates gifted $1.8billion in stock after the couple decided to call it quits.

One of Gates’s holding companies, Cascade Investment, which has positions in various sectors like energy and hospitality, transferred almost $2billion worth of securities to Melinda, Bloomberg Wealth reported.

Bill expressed how a "great deal of thought and a lot of work" was invested to save their marriage, and after his wife admitted that marital life was "really hard".

Melinda joined Microsoft in 1987 and met Bill at a business dinner in New York City.

After a year of dating, it was reported that Bill had to make a pros and cons list about getting married.

The couple eventually married on January 1, 1994 in Hawaii.

Tech mogul Bill, who has become a leading figure in the fight against Covid-19, was the richest man in the world until Amazon's Jeff Bezos knocked him off his perch in 2017.

Melinda's net worth is around $70billion, according to Spears.

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