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Bill and Melinda Gates Have Some Under the Tuscan Sun-ing to Do

Entertainment:

Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing, as headlines yelled Monday afternoon. They asked for privacy in their statement, which reads, in part:

“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. 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 Gateses were married in Hawaii in 1994 after Bill made a pro/con list, as legend has it, per the documentary Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. Melinda worked at Microsoft, where the two met, for several years before leaving to raise their three kids.

They launched the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and plan to keep on keeping on with it together, which is great. This way they don’t have to rename the foundation. They previously pledged to donate 95% of their shared wealth, and have donated to vaccine research and the Smithsonian and the World Health Organization and so on and so forth.

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What could “this next phase of our lives” be? Obviously, Melinda, a mere 56, has some Under the Tuscan Sun-ing to do. She’ll impulsively buy an aging, but charming villa, meet a delightful cast of characters, and eventually fall for Rory’s dad from Gilmore Girls. And Bill is just in his 60s. He’ll see you at he club.

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The Gateses have no prenup, TMZ reported in all caps and in bold after it liberated the legal documents from privacy. The outlet notes that Melinda filed, saying the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” Most legal terms are dry euphemisms for things, and yet some are full of pathos.

There have been a lot of high-stakes separations over the past year. More than usual it seems, though it’s hard to say. As we know, all happy families are alike and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, so I don’t want to compare all these pairs too much. But there has been a spate of divorces and breakups this year that will go down in infamy or at least go down on those breakup photo galleries for posterity. Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy finalized a high-profile disentanglement via Zoom in January. There’s Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, the details of which will reportedly be documented on the final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, who were never married but have children together, went their separate ways. Offset and Cardi B have had a real on-again, off-again ride. Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler. Armie Hammer and Elizabeth Chambers. 

And finally, of course, there was the Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott divorce in 2019, which is really the only one that could rival this one in terms of wealth redistribution. Pour one to 10 out for all of them.

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