'Womanizer' Bill Gates had 'wild' naked pool parties with strippers during early Microsoft days: Biographer
Melinda was allegedly 'well aware' of Bill's habits and consequently, their relationship ran hot and cold and they even had a year-long break as he wouldn't commit
In the wake of Bill and Melinda Gates announcing their divorce after almost three decades of marriage, speculations have been rife about what led to the crushing decision. Some have alleged it was the Microsoft co-founder's rumored rendezvous with an ex that led to the divorce, while others have blamed his alleged womanizing habit.
Journalist James Wallace has taken the time to comment on Bill's bachelor days, stating that the billionaire was "no choir boy" during his initial days of leading the Microsoft empire. From working for days in pizza-stained T-shirts to having naked parties with strippers, Wallace told Daily Mail all about how Bill was way more than just "a little computer nerd".
Wallace, who has authored two books on Bill during the '90s, told the outlet, "A lot of those Microsoft kids back then, they were young guys in pizza-stained t-shirts for two or three days working on software code. Then they would have some pretty wild parties, where they would go out and get strippers in Seattle and bring them over to Bill's home."
Organized at Bill's Laurelhurst, Washington home, the rager of a party was first described in vivid detail in Wallace's 1997 book, 'Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace'.
Wallace had at the time described the parties as "wild", citing how Bill and his entire flock would gather at one of Seattle's all-nude nightclubs and "hire dancers to come to his home and swim naked with his friends in his indoor pool". Bill was a renowned "womanizer", Wallace had claimed, also revealing how his habits caused his and Melinda's relationship to strain at the time.
"Though Gates began dating French (Melinda's maiden name) in 1988, he continued to play the field for a while, especially when he was out of town on business, when he would frequently hit on female journalists who covered Microsoft and the company industry," a passage of the book reads, adding: "His womanizing was well known, although not well reported, because Gates and Microsoft spoon-fed stories to industry writers for such papers as The New York Times, and none of them wanted the flow of information to stop."
Melinda was allegedly "well aware" of Bill's habits and "consequently their relationship ran hot and cold," Wallace noted in his book. "At one point, they broke up for nearly a year, reportedly because Gates refused to make any kind of commitment. When they got back together again in 1992, however, the relationship grew closer and stronger," Wallace continued.
Vern Raburn, who's a former Microsoft executive and also a friend of Bill's, agreed that the Microsoft boss's rampant womanizing impacted his and Melinda's budding relationship in 1988. Raburn told Daily Mail that Bill "liked to party", but put all of his playboy behavior behind when he and Melinda married in 1994. "I never saw any of that. Certainly prior to their marriage, yeah. Bill liked to party. But I never saw any of that after the marriage," he told the outlet. "In fact, I had dinner with him one night. He said he was very proud of the fact that he hadn't done any of that since he got married."
Bill and Melinda finally announced their split last week, but their divorce had been in the making since Melinda had first contacted a divorce lawyer two years ago. The couple was reportedly waiting for their third and youngest child to turn 18 before announcing the split. While a confirmed reason behind the split hasn't been disclosed yet, Raburn believes the couple had grown apart over the years and "didn't always share the same interests".
TMZ however revealed that Melinda and the rest of the family were "furious" at Bill for an unspecified event. Speculation has also been rife that the reason could have been Bill's close friendship with ex-girlfriend Ann Windblad, with whom he would enjoy a weeklong annual vacation throughout the course of his marriage to Melinda. Chinese social media also went ablaze with rumors last week that claimed Bill had been having an affair with a 36-year-old interpreter working for the Gates foundation. The Seattle-based interpreter identified as Zhe "Shelley" Wang has since dismissed the claims.
Bill's work ethic has also been dubbed the reason for his and Melinda's split. Wallace told Daily Mail how Bill's exes would often call him "frugal, aloof, and taxing to be with". "(Gates and his then-girlfriend) were supposed to be at a software conference in Seattle and they were running late," Wallace said. "But Gates is driving around all over these blocks near the conference because he doesn't want to pay for valet parking, he wanted to find a meter that he can put a few quarters into. This is a guy who's already a multi-millionaire, his company is already public, and he's driving around looking for a parking meter that he can put quarters into because he says 'I don't want to pay for valet parking, it costs too much.'"