Bill & Melinda Gates' Elder Daughter Breaks Silence On Parents' Shocking Divorce — It's Been 'Challenging,' Jennifer Confesses

May 5 2021, Updated 10:21 a.m. ET

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Jennifer Gates, the elder daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates, has broken her silence about her parents' divorce.

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Moments after the billionaire Microsoft co-founder announced the shocking news that he and his wife were calling it quits after 27 years of marriage on Monday, May 4, Jennifer took to her Instagram Story to ask her 404K followers for privacy while her family navigates this uncertain time.

"By now many of you have heard the news that my parents are separating," the 25-year-old began the post. "It's been a challenging stretch of time for our whole family."

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Source: Jennifer Gates/Instagram

Jennifer admitted she is trying to work through her parents' separation and would appreciate the public allowing her time to do so by respecting the family's wish for privacy. 

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"I'm still learning how to best support my own process and emotions as well as family members at this time, and am grateful for the space to do so," she continued.

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"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," Jennifer concluded. "Thank you for understanding our desire for privacy while we navigate the next phases of our lives."

On Monday, Bill and Melinda announced they were divorcing in a joint statement posted to Twitter. While they are proud of the beautiful family they created and the work they have achieved together, the duo was ultimately ready to throw in the towel on their romance.

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Source: Bill Gates/ Twitter

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," their statement read. "Over the last 27 years, 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."

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The former flames noted that they "continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation"; however, they "no longer believe" they "can grow together as a couple in the next phase" of their lives. 

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"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life," Bill and Melinda — who launched the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 — concluded their statement.

The 65-year-old and the philanthropist and former general manager at Microsoft, 56, tied the know on the Hawaiian island of Lanai in January 1994. In addition to sharing Jennifer, whom they welcomed two years after they wed, the co-parents share son Rory, 21, and daughter Phoebe, 18.


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