Melinda French Gates Never Loved the $130 Million Mansion She Shared With Bill Gates

Sounds like she likes her new home a lot better.

Melinda French Gates
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Melinda French Gates wasn't a "fan" of the giant mansion she shared with ex-husband Bill Gates, she shared in a new interview with TIME.

It sounds like the philanthropist and Marie Claire contributor is really glad she swapped the over-the-top home for a more low-key dwelling.

"I live in a neighborhood," she told the magazine. "Now I can walk to little stores. I can walk to the drugstore, I can walk to a restaurant. I absolutely love it."

Bill Gates' house

Bill Gates' house pictured in 2000.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The mansion French Gates never loved is most likely her ex' surreal home in Medina, Washington, which he dubbed "Xanadu 2.0" in reference to Citizen Kane. The home is apparently worth some $130 million, and counts seven bedrooms and over 18 bathrooms (wait, why...?).

Business Insider reports that Xanadu 2.0 comes with a bunch of high-tech features, six kitchens, a trampoline room (literally, what???), a reception hall that could host, like, a wedding... It's understated, in short.

French Gates and her tech mogul ex divorced in May 2021, having been married for 27 years. In 2022, she told Fortune, "I had some reasons I just couldn’t stay in that marriage anymore. But the odd thing about COVID is that it gave me the privacy to do what I needed to do. It’s unbelievably painful, in innumerable ways, but I had the privacy to get through it."

The philanthropist told TIME that she had several priorities when she made the decision to divorce. "I thought a lot about my three children," she said. "But I certainly thought about the effect on the foundation. Those are the three biggest buckets: me, the kids, and the foundation. And I wanted to make sure that when we came through it to the other side—when I came through it on my side—all of those pieces were intact."

The exes share children Jennifer, 28, Rory, 25, and Phoebe, 21. They also worked together as part of The Gates Foundation for many years, with French Gates announcing her departure from the organization last month. Her last day of work was June 7.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.