Melinda French Gates’ new love interest is rumored, a divorced father of three adult children who admitted in his memoirs that he verbally abuses his first wife, the former Miss Utah.
This week, sources told TMZ that the billionaire philanthropist and ex-wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, 58, was dating John Du Prie, the former TV news anchor and author, who was locked up in a nine-year court battle with his wife over a child. Support, according to public records.
In a recent social media post, the couple’s eldest son, Cassie de Pree, credited his mother, Gina Larsen de Pree, a virtual services account manager at Cisco in Utah, for the hard work raising him and younger siblings Jesse and Johnny.
“Jenna is basically the Steve Curry of life, which makes things seem so much easier than they are,” Casey wrote on LinkedIn, comparing his mother to the NBA legend. “While raising three children as a single mother, Jenna put all three of her children into college because of her diligent work ethic.”
John Du Bree’s relationship with Gina was turbulent, and he verbally abused her even when she was seven months pregnant with their third child in 1995, according to his memoir “The Prodigal Father: A True Story of Tragedy, Survival, and Reconciliation in America’s Family.” According to the book, Du Bree’s anger stemmed from years of abandonment and neglect from his father, a lawyer and former FBI agent who once spied on suspected Communist Party members in Hollywood during the so-called Red Scare of the 1950s.
De Prey wrote of the abuse of his first wife: “Once she was disarmed and I was filled with explosive rage, she had no chance.” “I stood and ran across the living room in the face of my pregnant wife, shivering as she puffed out with hot, angry air and launched the worst verbal attack I have ever endured.”
“Welcome to the real world, princess,” he said, “where not everyone is happy.” “For once, this is not about you, you rotten spoon-feeding bitch. This is about me. I will find out why my parents are angry in my life, and piss you off for trying to make me feel guilty about it.”
John Du Bree grew up in South Carolina in a family that was “plagued with so many problems that we barely made it to school in the morning.” His father, initially a successful attorney who took on civil rights cases, cheated on his mother, spent most of his life drinking and afflicted with debt. Du Bree wrote that he and his two brothers were often so hungry that they were forced to eat scraps left by fellow pupils in their school’s cafeteria trays, and learned to break into vending machines at the local YMCA to snatch snacks.
He met his first wife while they were studying journalism at Brigham Young University in Utah in the mid-1980s. The blonde, blue-eyed student reporter went to the Miss Utah pageant in 1985 and competed in the Miss America pageant the following year. While she didn’t win the crown, “she won an award for her performance in a talent competition, for which she paid several thousand dollars in scholarship, and licked my lips when I saw her in that bathing suit,” de Prey wrote.
The couple, both Mormons, married at Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City shortly after Jenna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1986.
“She got married ‘down’ thinking she could save me,” writes Du Prie, who worked as a television reporter in Green Bay, Boston, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City during their marriage. “I discovered early in her marriage that there was something wrong with her new husband, a rage just under the skin like a pimple when I was corrected or criticized, or even made me feel inferior by some act of generosity on her part. In… our years together, she had to To tread carefully. I’ve learned which of my buttons are never to press.”
He also notes that “Gina used to break down in arguments, be embarrassed in front of our friends, and take the blame for the little things that happened – like a stinky diaper, burnt toast, a bouncing check… She learned that demons from the past were threatening to destroy this new life that She meant a lot to me.”
The memoir – promoted by the presenter in “Oprah” – centers on de Pré’s journey to reconcile with his destitute father. He blames post-traumatic stress from his childhood for his outbursts against his wife, and comes to this conclusion after a chance encounter with a psychiatrist on a plane.
“Thanks to this moment but a very accurate explanation of my case from someone of famous expertise, I no longer have to think of myself as a chaotic mess,” he wrote. “Due to common and well-understood causes, I developed a recognized mental disorder.”
Having reconciled with his homeless father, de Prey ends his book on a happy note. He tells readers that he and his family live in Ventura County, California where he worked for Fox News.
“When he’s not covering earthquakes, riots, plane crashes, or the presidential election, John spends his time volunteering as a Scout leader, Little League coach, and cheerleader at school dances and award ceremonies, and playing with his kids in the backyard,” according to the About the Author section.
But the family never lived happily. In 2005, five years after the book was released, Jenna filed a petition for child support and divorce in Maricopa County Courthouse in Arizona, according to court records.
Dozens of filings offer a glimpse into a long and ugly battle over support for the three children, including custody negotiations and a hearing over an unpaid orthodontic bill. In 2007, court filings show an “urgent/urgent request for a telephone hearing regarding the arrival of spring break.”
It’s not clear when Melinda French Gates, whose divorce from Bill completed in August 2021, began dating Du Pre, who now runs his own strategic communications firm in Utah, but the two were spotted together in April at a Brooklyn Nets game.
Despite their divorce, French Gates and her ex-husband continue to head the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is worth about $50 billion, according to public records.
Calls seeking comment from French Gates, Gina Larsen Du Pre, Kasey Du Pre and Jon Du Pre were not returned this week.
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