Bill Gates told friends he was in a "loveless" marriage to Melinda Gates long before the couple finally split

"Bill did talk to his close friends on the golf course," a source told the New York Post of the billionaire Microsoft founder.

"He told them a while back that the marriage was loveless, that it had been over for some time and they were living separate lives."

Gates is a golf fanatic, who married his now-estranged wife on the course at the Manele Bay Hotel in Hawaii.

Gates is said to be finding comfort in golf while his romantic world collapses, as he is reportedly holed up at The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, California, which bills itself as "one of the United States' most prestigious" golf clubs.

Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that the decision to divorce was hard on Melinda because she is Catholic.

"She wants to get an annulment from the Vatican following the civil divorce, I'm told," said a source who has worked with Melinda.

Melinda, however, was said to be very upset with Bill because of his connections to the wealthy late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. "The split is no surprise to me," another source said.

"And any friendship with Epstein would have been a bone of contention for Melinda. There is no way that Melinda would have wanted to spend time with Epstein."

Epstein's former butler once claimed the Gateses had visited Epstein's lavish $US8 million Parisian apartment near the Arc de Triomphe, according to a 2019 article in FranceInfo.

"I served crowned heads, diplomats, businessmen and politicians," said the butler, who only identified himself as Gabriel.


Bill and Melinda Gates, with their family. Picture: Facebook
Bill and Melinda Gates, with their family. Picture: Facebook



Among the powerful guests he listed were Bill and Melinda Gates.

When asked about a Parisian visit, a source close to Melinda insisted that she had absolutely never been to Epstein's French home, while a source who knows Gates said the couple had never stayed overnight at any of Epstein's properties.

Following reports that Gates had travelled on Epstein's private jet in 2013, his spokeswoman, Bridgitt Arnold, said the software mogul and Epstein had met multiple times to discuss philanthropy.

She said in 2019: "Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgment to do so".



Epstein died in jail in August 2019 awaiting trial on federal charges related to sex trafficking.

The Wall Street Journal reported Melinda had been consulting divorce lawyers since 2019.

Although the couple hasn't said what prompted the split, sources including a former employee of their charity confirmed that Melinda was unhappy about Epstein.

The couple, who has three children, announced they were ending their marriage last week. In a joint statement posted on Twitter, they said, "we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."

Melinda's legal team includes New York divorce lawyer Robert Stephan Cohen. Cohen has represented Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kravis and Ivana Trump in their divorces.

Gates also has some star lawyers, including Ronald Olson, a partner at the firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP who has represented Mark Zuckerberg, among others.

Olson is a board member at Berkshire Hathaway, where he sat alongside Gates and Warren Buffett. Melinda's oldest child, daughter Jennifer, gave her mom a public display of backing on Mother's Day, posting a photo of her siblings and mom together, and writing: "Our queen, hero and mom - every day."


Originally published as Bill Gates told friends he was in 'loveless' marriage