Divorce Could Cause Melinda Gates to be World’s Second-Richest Woman
Melinda Gates, a campaigner for female empowerment and philanthropist, might become the second-richest woman in the world, her fortune is estimated at a whopping $73bn.
On Monday at the King County superior court in Seattle, Washington, Melinda Gates stated that her marriage to Bill Gates, the multibillionaire Microsoft co-founder, one of the richest men on earth, was broken irretrievably and asked the courts to divide up their combined $146bn or £105bn fortune.
A 50-50 split is likely and reports suggest that they had an agreement in settlement before announcing the divorce. The divorce petition filing revealed that the couple got together after they first hit it off playing Cluedo and she won, they did not sign a prenuptial agreement, and in Washington state, the law states that divorcing couples should share their assets equally.
The divorce also causes questions to be asked about the future of the couples’ philanthropic efforts through the foundation, it pulls in cash from other donors, ranging from another billionaire Warren Buffett to the government in the UK.
The couple has said they plan to remain co-chairs of the foundation, but some experts suggest the divorcing couple may have different and strongly held views about the direction of the charity in the future.
It is a huge foundation, which employed 1,600 staff, based in Seattle, which gave away $50bn to projects in 135 countries after it was founded in 2000 and still has $43bn worth of assets.
They got married on January 1, 1994, in Hawaii. Their three children are Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.