Melinda Gates Opens Up About Divorce From Bill Gates: 'I Had a Lot of Tears for Many Days'

Nearly a year after announcing her split from Bill Gates, Melinda Gates is sharing how she grieved the end of their marriage.

Nearly a year after announcing the end of her marriage to Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates is feeling like she's "starting to get to the other side."

That's what the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair told CBS Mornings' Gayle King in a preview from their recent interview, which aired Wednesday. During the sit-down, Gayle broached the topic of Bill's extramarital affair, which his spokeswoman confirmed in a statement issued last May. "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably," Bill’s spokeswoman, Bridgitt Arnold, said in an emailed statement to The Washington Post at the time. In court documents, the exes -- who share three children -- called their marriage "irretrievably broken." A judge finalized their divorce in August 2021, three months after they announced their split in a joint statement.

"I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that," Melinda told Gayle. "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." 

Responding to the perception that she "has it all," the philanthropist recalled the times she cried and wondered how to go on. "I think it’s really important to say, look, I had a lot of tears for many days, I mean, days where I am literally laying on the floor and the carpet, you know, 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."

Now almost a year removed from the moment the two unexpectedly announced the end of their 27-year marriage, Melinda is looking ahead with enthusiasm. 

"This is painful stuff. And 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 and I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter now," she shared. "I mean, it’s 2022 and I’m actually really excited about what’s to come and life ahead for me."