Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Amicable? Probably Not

Fox News reports on the lawyering up of the Gateses. They're using the same attorneys who handled the Bezos divorce, except the roles have flipped:

Ted D. Billbe, who represented Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott during her 2019 divorce proceedings from the Amazon founder, will act as Bill Gates’ primary attorney.


Meanwhile, Sherri M. Anderson, the primary counsel for Bezos in the dissolution of nuptials and disseminating of assets, is representing Melinda Gates ...

But those are just the lead attorneys.

Here's the interesting part:

The couple, who has an estimated $130 billion in assets, is said to not have a prenup. Additionally, according to TMZ, Melinda will not request spousal support.

Does this explain the hardball approach that the Melinda camp is taking re, for example, the Gates - Epstein connection?

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. 


  1. If Bill Gates had upcoming legal and PR problems, and if Melinda knew of such and had concerns about preserving her share of the estate given these considerations, would not forgoing the request of spousal support make sense? And would not her citing the Gates - Epstein relationship make additional sense?

  2. Maybe this is why the divorce came so precipitously? Melinda got wind that Bill was on the chopping block and she decided to get while the getting was good.

  3. Human nature is very constant- whether paupers or billionaires. There's a lot of pent up anger and hostility in a marriage that's painful enough to lead to divorce, and the process has a way of escalating and bringing it all out! Melinda probably had no idea how mad she was until it boiled over. If Bill may have thought she was ok with the office affairs and vacations with the old flame, etc., but that energy just gets stored away 'til it boils over.

    With that much money, I don't think there's any worry about preserving it or dissipating it, it's just too much to do anything with! However, if Melinda believes he's put making money ahead of her, or believes money is one of his major attachments, that will be a weak spot she goes after just to get him. I'd guess that also has something to do with why Bezos's ex gives away a lot of her money- that has to eat Jeff up after he plotted and worked so hard for it.

    1. Bezos’s ex was the one who came up for the original concept and business plan for Amazon. She was a partner in the enterprise. He had a male middle age crisis, and took off after a TV “personality”. I’d say she has a right to do with her share of their fortune whatever she likes. The notion that the man is the only one who earned it is so often far from the truth… (Keep an eye on Sanchez, the TV personality…I don’t believe she was attracted to his looks.)

    2. So, what you're saying is, women aren't attracted to guys who look like they might be extra terrestrials?

    3. No doubt Bezos's ex has a right to do whatever she wants with her money. That fact alone probably pisses Bezos off, no matter how much she was the brains behind the operation!

      Sanchez is a piece of work. I do expect to see a lot more of her in the Daily Mail when the time is right!

  4. When their split was recently publicized, it was also mentioned that they had been working out their separation agreement (usually the basis for the eventual terms of divorce) for the last two years. He just gave Melinda a big chunk of stock. I imagine there is much, much more. I’d say she earned whatever she gets. He puts the capital I in Ick.

  5. May 4:

    Court documents, which were filed by Melinda on Monday and obtained by PEOPLE, confirm that the pair has a separation agreement in place, which is a contract that lays what each individual is entitled to and their responsibilities, though it is unclear how their assets will be split.

    However, while this agreement is in place because Bill and Melinda's lives have been so closely intertwined since the beginning of their relationship, splitting their assets is no simple matter. (Snip)
    According to the court documents, Melinda is not asking for spousal or child support in the divorce but requested that the court enforce their separation contract.

    That private contract, which was previously agreed upon between the couple, will divide Bill and Melinda's real property, personal property and debts and liabilities.

    1. Her lawyers can probably get her out of the separation contract if she wants them to. The court will generally enforce those, as a voluntary settlement, if they're not objectionable and both parties agree. If one doesn't, though, it can be difficult. She can always find some new "fraud" or something that vitiates it. Washington, if that's their domicile, is a community property state, so splitting is easy!

    2. I heard that out of the $130 billion Gates' plan was to leave $10 million to each of the three kids. Press reports are that the kids are siding with mom. Hmmmm.

    3. @Anon, if she and Bill drafted that separation contract together over the last two years, and she has asked that it be honored by the court, why would she want to get out of it?

      I did read somewhere that she wanted the $10 million that he specified at some point (not in the contract) should be left to each of their children at his death should be increased.

      Money or no money, why would the kids side with him? He is turning out to have been a bum and an embarrassment to them.

    4. Inheritance is not usually addressed in a separation agreement/contract, but in this case Bill has frequently publicly stated that he would leave each child only $10 million and that the rest of his estate would go to charity. Melinda has taken the unusual step of including estate and trust lawyers in her team. Some believe she may be aiming to change Bill’s mind about that inheritance scheme for their children. It’s in this article;

    5. "...why would she want to get out of it?"

      The dynamics become completely different. When people are beat down emotionally, trying to avoid publicity, don't know all the dirt, and think the spouse is very powerful and can control the media and courts, they may be convinced or convince themselves that just taking a little and not being 'greedy' is best for everyone.

      Once it becomes public, the desire for privacy is out the window. Once they realize the press is going against the person they thought could control the media, they see that fear was baseless. Once some dirt is let out of the bag, the concern about keeping things quiet is gone. Once the children start saying, 'big ups, Mom! Get us our fair share, too,' the concern about protecting them from reality is gone. With all the dirt coming out, she may find about of an affair or other behavior she didn't....

      Lots of smart people might be telling her that if she takes a penny less than $65B, she's an enabler and a chump? Whereas before, she may have been wondering if anyone would support her and take her side during a split?

      This is all speculation, but in divorces and other litigation, as the terrain changes, so do the tactics and goals. Just keep popcorn on hand!