"It was a painful stuff.. I cried for days" - Melinda Gates on divorcing Bill Gates

Melinda French-Gates says divorcing Bill Gates was "a painful stuff".

In her first interview since their separation last year, the billionaire philanthropist told CBS Mornings that she cried for days after realizing their marriage had broken down.

"I think its really important to say look, I had a lot of tears for many days," she confessed. "Days where I'm literally lying on the floor, the carpet this close to me, thinking 'How can this be? How can I get up? How am I going to move forward?'"

"And days I certainly was angry, that's part of the grieving process. You're grieving a loss of something you thought you had, and thought you had for your lifetime. I mean, this is painful stuff."

Melinda said she had initially forgiven her husband for cheating, until she realized the trust was gone.

"Well, I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that," the 57-year-old said, when asked about the billionaire Microsoft founder's indiscretion.

She said it wasn’t one moment that led to the end of her marriage with Bill.

"It wasn't one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn't healthy, and I couldn't trust what we had."

In May 2021, the couple jointly announced they had decided to divorce after 34 years together, 27 of them married.

That same month, it emerged Gates had had an affair with a Microsoft staff around two decades earlier "which ended amicably", but was investigated by the company in 2019.

"Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000," the company said in a statement.

"A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern."

Melinda said she is healing from the heartbreak and looking forward to a better tomorrow.

"At the end of the day though, I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I'm starting to get to the other side," she added.

"And I do feel like I'm turning a page in the chapter now. I mean, it's 2022, and I'm actually real excited about what's to come in life ahead for me."

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