Melinda Gates began working on her divorce from Bill Gates in part over concerns with her husband's dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In fact, she began working with divorce lawyers in October 2019, when Bill Gates' ties to the alleged sex trafficker of underage girls surfaced, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Melinda Gates' concerns about their marriage and her husband's Epstein ties began in 2013, sources told the Journal.
The 56-year-old says the marriage was "irretrievably broken," according filings.
The New York Times in October 2019 reported Bill Gates had met with Epstein several times, and once stayed late at his townhouse in New York. A spokeswoman for Gates said at the time that the meetings had centered on philanthropy. Epstein had died in jail two months prior while awaiting trial on federal charges related to sex trafficking.
The divorce was negotiated during the pandemic, involving legal teams working with a mediator to divide their fortune, which the Bloomberg Billionaires Index pegs at $145 billion.
The couple said this week they plan on remaining co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will continue to jointly lead. They have vowed to give away the vast majority of their wealth.
Information from Bloomberg News was used in this report.
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