Jennifer Gates Says Parents' Divorce Is 'a Challenging Stretch of Time for Our Whole Family'

Katie Campione
·2 min read

Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates, has spoken out about her parents' divorce.

On Monday, the 25-year-old shared a statement on her Instagram Story, asking her followers for privacy as the family navigates this "challenging" time.

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

She continued, "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. 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."

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

jennifer gates/instagram

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce: 'We No Longer Believe We Can Grow Together as a Couple'

Yana Paskova/Getty

On Monday, Bill and Melinda announced they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 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," they said in a joint statement.

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melinda gates/instagram

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates' Most Memorable Moments as Philanthropists and Parents

"We continue to share a belief in that mission and 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.

"We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life," they concluded in the statement.

RELATED: Bill Gates' Daughter Jennifer and Equestrian Nayel Nassar Are Engaged After Surprise Snowy Proposal

The billionaire Microsoft co-founder, 65, and the philanthropist and former general manager at Microsoft, 56, married on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on Jan. 1, 1994.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce.

In addition to Jennifer, Bill and Melinda also have a son Rory, 21, and a daughter Phoebe, 18.