MELINDA Gates has broken her silence after announcing her split from Bill by sharing a sweet Mother's Day message on social media.
The 56-year-old philanthropist told of her love of being a parent and spoke about "resilience" in her first post since it was revealed she and the Microsoft mogul were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
Melinda shared a snap of her embracing her three children - Jennifer, 25, Phoebe, 18, and 21-year-old Rory - on both Instagram and Twitter.
The mom-of-three is all smiles in the picture, with Rory's arm around her as the four of them laugh..
"I love being their mother," Melinda captioned the photo.
"To anyone celebrating a mom or a mother figure, honoring a memory of someone you loved, or reflecting on your own resilience today, I hope your day is a meaningful one."
Bill and Melinda announced their split on Twitter last week, citing that the marriage was "irretrievably broken".
"We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives," Bill said.
"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
Melinda tweeted an identical statement to her Twitter account.
Their daughter, Jennifer, commented on the divorce in an Instagram story shortly after her parents went public.
The eldest daughter said: "I’m still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as my family members at this time and 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."
It comes after it was revealed Melinda reportedly consulted divorce lawyers back in 2019 before filing
Melinda reportedly had been working with firms for months on end to put a stop to her marriage to Microsoft co-founder Bill and first approached lawyers roughly two years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.
She then filed papers in court confirming that the marriage was "irretrievably broken" - but there was no prenuptial agreement, legal papers showed.
One former employee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation told the Journal that Melinda's concerns about the relationship dated back to 2013, and that one of her main worries was about Bill's reported ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Meanwhile, insiders claimed the divorce was "not friendly" and the split has been a "long time coming".
Melinda reportedly rented a $132,000-a-night Caribbean private island for her family earlier this year during the "acrimonious" split from billionaire Bill.
She fled to Calivigny Island in Grenada with her three children to escape media scrutiny, sources told TMZ.
The split was branded "unfriendly" as Melinda headed to the island while lawyers were frantically trying to finalize a settlement.
Previously, Melinda had spoken about how she felt "alone" in their marriage.
In a 2017 interview, she opened up about the reality of being married to her tech billionaire husband before describing how isolated she felt in her 2019 book.
In The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, Melinda wrote: "When we first had [our daughter] Jenn, I felt very alone in our marriage.
"Bill was CEO of Microsoft at the time. He was beyond busy; everyone wanted him, and I was thinking, 'OK, maybe he wanted to have kids in theory, but not in reality."'
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Melinda joined Microsoft in 1987 and met Bill at a business dinner in New York City.
After a year of dating, it was reported that Bill had to make a pros and cons list about getting married.
The couple eventually married on January 1, 1994 in Hawaii.