Bill Gates affair, suspicion and a private investigator: In the ongoing high-profile saga of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce, eye-popping details have emerged with regard to the Microsoft tycoon’s seemingly controversial life outside of matrimony.
The 65-year-old’s rock-solid reputation built over decades of work in big tech is straining at the seams with every new revelation coming to public knowledge. Within a month of the divorce announcement, Gates has been linked to former paramour Ann Winblad, employee Zhe Shelly Wang, besides being accused by several female staffers of “pursuing” them, while a murky connection to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein looms large.
Now, a report by Vanity Fair fuels speculation surrounding the Gates’ divorce with explosive claims by sources who know the couple closely.
“For years there have been whispers, within Microsoft and in Gates’s broader professional and social circles, about inappropriate extramarital relationships,” the report says, noting that Gates’ pursuit of female colleagues was not shocking since his and Melinda’s relationship too began as an office romance.
The duo met at Microsoft in 1987 and after a long period of dating, married in 1994. They were married for 27 years before they “made the decision to end our marriage.”
— Melinda French Gates (@melindagates) May 3, 2021
Bill Gates Affair And Office Behaviour: Shadow Cast On Tech Tycoon’s Reputation
Sources further reveal to VF that Gates’ “off-site meetings that were not on his calendar” were somewhat of an open secret around the office. A former employee recalls there were two vehicles – a Mercedes and a Porsche – that Gates’ used to switch between conveyance to office and then a ride to where they “assumed… he was with women.”
A brighter spotlight was cast on Gates’ alleged extramarital affairs when in 2019, the Microsoft board opened investigation into claims made by a female employee of involvement with Gates. Soon after, in 2020, he stepped down from the board, although a spokesperson for him said this move was unrelated to the investigation. By that time, however, Melinda had reportedly begun seeing lawyers in consideration of divorce over Gates’ past links to Epstein. Details on that here.
Where Gates had allegedly spoken of his “loveless marriage” to buddies, the VF report says people close to Melinda too weren’t strangers to the couple’s souring relationship. According to a source, “someone in Melinda’s circle worked with a private investigator leading up to filing” – a claim her spokesperson has refuted as “completely false.”
With a billions -worth empire in the mix, besides functions of The Gates Foundation that shoulders charity work globally, this grey divorce could potentially stand to shake up the wealth distribution of the world. The Gates have not issued public comment on the matter beyond their statement on May 3.