Editorial: Even some billionaires have their problems

From left, Melinda and Bill Gates have announced their divorce.

Column By Mike Bibb

Having about $150 billion in his wallet, Bill Gates doesn’t have to worry about time payments on his next secluded palatial retreat.  Even if his ex-wife ends up with half of it.

Undeniably, Gates is one of the wealthiest guys on the planet.  Cofounder of Microsoft, he helped usher in the personal computer age through the use of miniaturized electronics and computer programs contained within many of today’s computer-enhanced gadgets, including virtually everything we use today.

However, this isn’t a story of how Bill became a billionaire or what he does with his boatloads of money.  Actually, it’s more about why his boat isn’t as full as it once was. 

It’s called divorce; next to the income tax, probably the greatest wealth redistribution plan in America.

Bill is a smart dude.  He must be.  Most billionaires aren’t stupid or lazy or they wouldn’t be billionaires.  This is why it’s kind of weird he and his former wife, Melinda, didn’t have some kind of mutual agreement stipulating what would happen to their vast fortune if, for some reason, they decided to call it quits.

Or, maybe they just figured there’s already enough money for both of them, so why quibble over a few extra billion?  Especially if one of the reasons for the divorce can be kept from being headline news on CNN.

According to the Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2021, Melinda began to become concerned over Bill’s association with child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in 2013.

A similar story appeared in the New York Times in October 2019, reporting Gates met with Epstein several times and may have stayed overnight in Epstein’s New York City townhouse.

Epstein died Aug. 10, 2019, while incarcerated in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.  His death was determined to be suicide by hanging, but several officials have doubts about the actual cause. 

After word got out about Bill’s relationship with Jeffrey, he attempted to explain the situation by saying he was merely discussing philanthropic possibilities with Jeff and nothing more.  Certainly, cavorting with underage children was never considered. 

Later realizing how incriminating the situation appeared, he admitted during an interview he’d “made a mistake.”  This is probably one of the most obvious statements he’s ever uttered.

Apparently, Melinda wasn’t totally convinced of Bill’s fidelity or of his professed innocence with Epstein.  Information has been revealed that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”  Meaning, I suppose, there was no way she and Bill could patch things up, regardless of the $150 billion bucks on the line.

This tangled can of worms may never be fully explained.  The super-rich has a way of keeping a lot of things from public view.  But in this case, looks like money really couldn’t buy love. Except, maybe, at Jeffrey’s house. 

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