Melinda Gates ‘booked £95k-a-night private island to hide from divorce fallout’

Melinda Gates rented a $132,000-a-night (£95,000) private island as a getaway to hide from the fallout of her divorce from her billionaire husband, it has been claimed.

On Monday it was announced Melinda and Bill Gates would be splitting after 27 years of marriage.

TMZ reports that she rented Calivigny Island in Grenada, an island which can be booked out in its entirety.

She had planned to use it as a hideout from the media spotlight after the divorce announcement hit the headlines.

Melinda was going to be joined by the couple's three grown-up children – Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18 – and their significant others.

Microsoft co-founder Gates, 65, was reportedly not invited on the getaway to the 80-acre Caribbean hideaway.

On the same day, their separation was announced, the tech billionaire's investment firm transferred $1.8 billion (£1.3 billion) in stocks to Melinda.

It is the first indication of how the couple will divide their wealth and assets.

Cascade Investments, a holding company controlled by Gates, transferred stock in two of Mexico's largest companies to his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Melinda could become the world's second-richest woman when their divorce is finalised after court filings showed the couple do not have a prenuptial agreement.

It means she could be entitled to half of their combined $146 billion (£105 billion) fortune, leaving her with a healthy $73 billion (£52.4 billion).

This would place Melinda, 56, second in the list of the world's richest women behind only L'Oreal owner Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, whose inherited fortune is worth around $83 billion (£59.6 billion).

  • Bill Gates' estranged wife Melinda could become world's second-richest woman

Gates and Melinda met in 1987 when she started working at Microsoft, marrying on New Year's Day in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

They released identical statements on Twitter on Monday announcing their divorce.

The statement read: "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.

  • Bill Gates made 'deal' to go on annual holiday with ex when he married Melinda

"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 the next phase of our lives."

It went on: "We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

Their oldest child Jennifer later posted online: "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 I am grateful for the space to do so.

"I won't personally comment further on anything around the separation, but please know that your kind words and support mean the world to me."

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