Bill Gates and Melinda Gates rocked the public to the core with the announcement that they were ending their 27-year marriage shared yesterday on Twitter, in which they confirmed their intentions to continue work together at the Gates Foundation but stated their marriage was without a doubt over. The couple shares three kids — son Rory John, 21, and daughters Phoebe Adele, 18, and Jennifer Katharine, 25 — the eldest of whom is now speaking out about her parents’ separation on her own social media page and sharing further insight into what may have caused their impending divorce.
“Hi friends,” Jennifer began her message to Instagram followers, shared on her story hours after her parents had released their own announcement. “By now, many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating. It’s been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family. I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and am grateful for the space to do so.”
Her request for space while processing this change echoes her parents’ sentiment in their own statement, which read: “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage…We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
Jennifer is a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and former professional equestrian who intends to follow in her parents’ footsteps of working on global health initiatives. Growing up in this wealthy family, she’s clearly also mastered the art of a public statement at a sensitive time.
“I won’t personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the whole world to me,” she concluded. “Thank you for understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives. With love and respect.”
As further details of this separation undoubtedly come out, Jennifer was smart to get her comments in early and make it clear she wouldn’t be accepting further questions. But we wouldn’t expect any less from the eldest Gates.
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