The world was shook when, in early May, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage. However, a body language expert exclusively tells Nicki Swift that there were signs it was coming all along.
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The Gates, who founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, said in joint Twitter statements, 'After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,' noting that they 'have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that ... enables all people to lead healthy, productive lives.' They made sure to state that they 'will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.'
Still, because Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world, and the foundation helps both people in developing countries and the U.S., per its website, people were obviously concerned that the future of his philanthropy was in jeopardy. The New York Times reports that its 1,600 staff members all around the world were texting and emailing each other after the news broke, trying to figure out what went down and what would happen in the future.
While the details of their divorce may always remain private, it looks like their relationship has been breaking down in public for some time...
You can tell they were having trouble
Body language expert Jason Lee, a former professional poker player and current relationship science and data analyst with Healthy Framework, tells Nicki Swift that a close analysis of old speaking engagements offers clues to issues in their marriage. He says, 'When you look at past videos of Bill and Melinda Gates speaking together, you see a lot of happy, emotional-filled, genuine back and forth — much like you'd expect to see from a happy couple. For example, when you look at the TED Talk interview with the couple from back in 2014, you see Bill showcasing a lot of emotion, looking at Melinda when she talks, and genuinely reacting to her comments.
But something changes eventually. During a Forbes Live interview from July 2020, Lee says that, in his opinion, 'Bill looks defeated, stares straight forward when Melinda talks, and in one of the few moments where he does look at her, she looks back and he immediately averts his glance. Wildly different from the happy couple we saw years before.' And it's not just Bill who looks like they've had it.
Bill Gates Ted Talk Epidemic
Melinda has a fake smile
Bill Gates Ted Talk Vaccines
Jason Lee, a body language expert, also tells Nicki Swift that you can tell Melinda Gates was also putting on a show with her husband, Bill Gates, in other interviews. As Lee reveals to Nicki Swift, 'When you look at Melinda Gates in the interview with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation from what appears to be the same day [as the aforementioned Forbes Live interview], you see someone that looks like they're trying to 'put on a face' a bit more.' He adds, 'In the beginning of the interview, you see Melinda smiling, but with what appears not to be a full-face, genuine smile.' As the interview goes on, it fades 'completely.' Lee adds, 'Compare that with her smiles from the TED Talk in 2014, and you can see the contrast. In 2014, her smile was full-faced all the way into her eyes, which generally means genuine happiness.'
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Although they had their issues and might have felt 'defeated' in their marriage, both Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged to continue working together in the name of their foundation. Hopefully, as they work out their divorce, they get back to a place where they aren't forcing it for the cameras.