Think of the children! This may be the angle that Melinda Gates is taking in her pending divorce from estranged husband Bill Gates, two high-profile attorneys tell Page Six after reviewing the billionaire philanthropist’s divorce filing and noting that prominent trust and estate lawyers are named in the case, an unusual situation for a divorce. While Bill and Melinda’s separation had initially seemed amicable with the former couple releasing a calm statement about their shared intent to continue philanthropic ventures together, reports since alleging a long relationship between Bill Gates and late pedophile-slash-billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein as well as an affair with a former Microsoft employee have firmly been moving the needle of public opinion into Melinda’s side in recent weeks. Another potential area of disagreement between the couple? The Gates’ long-public decision to leave their children Rory, Phoebe, and Jennifer Gates only $10 million each, despite Bill Gates’ estimated $124 billion fortune. Given who Melinda has tapped as her legal representation, these Page Six sources say there’s a chance Melinda is looking into changing that.
Harriet Newman Cohen and Martha Cohen Stine, divorce attorneys whose former clients include Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the ex-wives of Harvey and Bob Weinstein, told Page Six that the inclusion of trust and estate lawyers as Melinda’s representatives suggested she might be looking to modify previous agreements of how much funding they wanted to leave their three children.
Bill Gates has a lot of explaining to do. https://t.co/2V4RuWOHRm
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) May 17, 2021
“Bill Gates proudly announced to the world he was leaving $10 million to each of his three children, and that the rest of the billions will be left to charity,” Newman Cohen told the outlet. “Now that Melinda has control — maybe she wanted to leave more to her children than $10 million each. Maybe she didn’t agree.”
The lawyers added that, given the Gates’ substantial fortune, leaving the sum of $10 million would be “tantamount to disinheriting the children,” and suggested that Melinda might be “like every other woman … protecting her children.” We’ll reserve commentary on whether a fate with only a $10 million inheritance is one from which children ought to be protected, but the point stands: If Melinda did in fact want her children to receive a larger inheritance, she would now have the opportunity to dictate a change to her estate.
Bill and Melinda Gates have previously indicated that all assets will be divided according to a pre-arranged separation agreement. “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 said in their initial announcement. “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. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
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