Melinda Gates spoke to lawyers two years ago about divorcing husband Bill, it is claimed

Melinda Gates has been talking to her lawyers for more than two years following concerns about her husband Bill’s meetings with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Ms Gates, 56, has consulted legal experts from several firms, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper claimed it had seen documents related to the case.

One of the reasons behind the couple’s split is said to be multi-billionaire Bill’s friendship with the late Epstein.

He committed suicide in jail in 2019 after being convicted of sex offences involving trafficking teenage girls.

Epstein’s former British girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is currently on remand in a New York jail charged with similar offences.

Prince Andrew is also caught up in the international trail of girls allegedly being supplied to Epstein’s friends.

The Journal said Microsoft founder Mr Gates and Epstein met in 2011.

On one occasion it’s claimed the world’s fourth richest man – with £130 billion – stayed late into the night at Epstein’s Manhattan home.

Mr Gates’ spokesperson Bridgitt Arnold said at the time of the 2019 allegation:

“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgment to do so.”

The Gates’ announced their divorce – after 27 years of marriage – on May 3rd.

In identical tweets, they declared:

“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 ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV’s Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.