In a preview of CBS Mornings‘ exclusive interview with the philanthropist, airing on Thursday, Melinda said that there “wasn’t one moment” that led to their split.
During the interview, Melinda was asked about the affair Bill had with a staffer 20 years ago, which a spokesperson for the Microsoft co-founder confirmed last May.
“I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that,” said the author and women’s advocate, 57.
“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,” she added.
After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda announced their split in May, saying in a joint statement at the time that “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Reflecting on the range of emotions she felt throughout the difficult process, Melinda told CBS’ Gayle King that she cried “a lot of tears for many days.”
Melinda French Gates tells @GayleKing it’s possible to regain trust in a relationship, “but it’s very hard to get it back in any relationship.”— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 2, 2022
She opens up about fighting for gender equity — as well as her divorce, in our exclusive interview, Thursday. pic.twitter.com/yV1Xn6Td4z
Other times, Melinda recalled feeling 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,” she said.
Now, Melinda says she feels like she’s “starting to get to the other side” on her “journey of healing.”
“I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter,” she shared. “I mean, it’s 2022 and I’m actually really excited about what’s to come and life ahead for me.”
Bill, 66, previously reflected on their divorce in December, calling 2021 the “most unusual and difficult year of my life.”
Touching on their decision to continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they started in 2000, Bill wrote in a year-in-review blog post that the exes “have found a good new working rhythm.”
“But I can’t deny that it’s been a year of great personal sadness for me,” he added.
Melinda French Gates’ full interview will air on CBS Mornings on Thursday.