Did Melinda Gates know about Bill Gates' love affairs? Philanthropist was 'aware there were some issues’
A recent report has claimed that the billionaire had a reputation for pursuing women at work
A source has confirmed that Melinda Gates had an idea of her husband Bill Gates’ “questionable” behavior at Microsoft. The insider told PEOPLE, “Melinda was aware there were some issues, but it's unclear if she knew about all of it.” The pair announced their separation on May 3, but on Monday, May 17, Bill’s spokesperson said that he was romantically involved with an employee of his around two decades ago.
Also, a recent report by the New York Times has claimed that the billionaire had a reputation for pursuing women at work. “There definitely were steps taken along the way with Microsoft at various times based on his behavior,” the source added. The NYT report also stated that the 65-year-old had shown “questionable conduct in work-related settings” and “on at least a few occasions” tried to woo female staff members who were employed both at Microsoft and at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he founded along with Melinda in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates' divorce has quite a few things common with Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott's 2019 split
However, a spokesperson for Gates earlier denied such allegations and said, “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 New York Times's] characterization of his meetings with [Jeffrey] Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated. Similarly, any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false. The claim of mistreatment of employees is also false. 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.’”
On the other hand, another report by Wall Street Journal stated that Bill left the Microsoft board in 2020 after a probe because of his alleged past affair with a worker. But a spokesperson denied that and said though he had an affair which “ended amicably”, it has nothing to do with his professional decision.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the spokesperson added: “Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000. A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.”
On May 3, Bill and Melinda split after 27 years of marriage. They share three kids together — 25-year-old Jennifer, Phoebe, 18, and son Rory, 21. An insider previously said their separation was not shocking for their friends. “He could have treated Melinda better. He's not a saint, but there isn't one thing that created the final split. It goes deeper than that. It's many years of differing views of the world, the foundation, and of life in general, and those things piling up. They are older and each personally looked at life and asked, 'Is there more out there than what I have?’” the insider added.