Bill Gates asked out colleagues while still married to Melinda, slammed by 6 women for 'uncomfortable' workplace
'If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,' Gates stated in an email he sent to a woman employee at Microsoft while reportedly asking her out in 2006
Barely weeks after Bill and Melinda Gates announced their separation after 27 years of marriage, shocking truths about the personal life of the Microsoft mogul have come to light. According to the latest exposé by The New York Times, Gates had asked out two women colleagues at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation while he was married to Melinda.
In fact, such workplace behavior from his end led to scandalous gossip among employees, eventually creating an unhealthy work environment. At least six present and former female staffers of Microsoft and Gates Foundation have stated that Bill created an 'uncomfortable' workplace. His mishandling of a sexual harassment case at the firm was also called out.
Who were the employees Bill Gates asked out?
In 2006, 64-year-old Bill reportedly asked out a Microsoft employee after watching her make a presentation. According to the NYT report, Gates sent an email to her inviting her to dinner. His email added, "If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened." The woman did feel uncomfortable about the incident and 'pretended' Bill never asked her out. The name and other details about the woman have not been revealed.
However, Bill repeated a similar behavior towards another female employee a few years later. This woman, whose identity has been kept under the wraps as well, worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. During a work trip to New York, the tech billionaire asked her out on a dinner date. "I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” he reportedly told her. She felt awkward at the exchange and laughed to avoid responding to his question.
Though Bill did not exhibit any kind of 'predatory' behavior towards the women he approached, his office behavior did make the workplace 'uncomfortable', at least six women staffers have agreed. Meanwhile, Bill's spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold refuted the claims adding that he never mistreated any of the employees.
“It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’s divorce. The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’s divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as ‘sources'," Arnold said.
While it is not known if Melinda had any idea about Bill's behavior at the workplace, she reportedly was upset about his improper handling of a sexual harassment case against Microsoft's longtime money manager Michael Larson. In addition, the exposure of his alleged connection with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019 rattled Melinda deeply, probably prompting her to hire divorce lawyers around the same time.