Bill and Melinda Gates may have announced their divorce plans jointly, but the breakup is "not friendly," TMZ reports with most family members siding with Melinda Gates.
The billionaire philanthropist couple had planned to announce their breakup in March, according to the website, but lawyers failed to hammer out all the details in time.
Melinda had rented the entire Calivigny Island in Grenada for $132,000 a night in anticipation of the announcement so she would be unreachable by press.The couple's children and their significant others also were to join her, but Bill was not.
Sources told TMZ that Bill was not invited because "there was a considerable amount of acrimony associated with the split."
"[W]e're told they were very angry at Bill, and that's why he wasn't invited," TMZ reported. "We're told Melinda and most of the family were furious at Bill for various things they claim he had done."
When lawyers were unable to negotiate a deal by the date reserved at the island, the group decided to go anyway, according to TMZ.
The divorce has been "a long time in the making," TMZ said.
The couple, who were married 27 years, didn't have a prenuptial agreement, even though Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, was once the world's richest men.
Bill Gates' investment firm Cascade Investment transferred $1.8 billion in stock to Melinda Gates the day Melinda Gates filed for divorce.
The couple, with a joint fortune estimated at $130 billion, have channeled billions into charitable work around the globe via their hugely influential Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
They said they would continue their joint work on the foundation, which funds programs in global health, gender equality, education and other causes.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said in a joint statement, posted on each of their official Twitter accounts on Monday.
"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," they wrote.
"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."
The statement offered no additional details on the split but said: "We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
The announcement comes two years after the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another of the world's wealthiest people, and his wife MacKenzie.
Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft chief executive in 2008 to devote more time to philanthropy and later left the board, keeping only the title of "founder and technology advisor."
Melinda Gates, 56, met Bill at Microsoft in 1987, shortly after she joined the tech firm, and the pair married in 1994.
In a 2019 Netflix documentary series, he described his wife as "truly an equal partner," while she looked back on some of their first interactions to call him "funny and very high-energy."
Their foundation is among the world's richest, having provided more than $54 billion in grants over two decades in areas including malaria and infectious disease control, agricultural research, basic health care and sanitation in various parts of the world.
It has an endowment of more than $46 billion.
AFP contributed to this report.
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