WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Bill Gates’s alleged affair with an employee at Microsoft reportedly prompted the company’s board of directors to try to remove him.
- But Gates decided to voluntarily resign before the investigation on the affair was completed.
- A spokesperson of the billionaire said that his decision to step down was not related to the said affair.
An affair between Bill Gates and an employee at Microsoft has reportedly prompted the tech company’s board of directors to try to remove him in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the WSJ report, the Microsoft board members received a letter from an employee stating that Gates sought to “initiate an intimate relationship” with her 19 years prior. They launched an investigation in 2018 but Gates decided to voluntarily step down from the company in March 2020 before the investigation finished.
A spokesperson of the billionaire confirmed that Gates indeed had “an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.” They added, however, that Gates’s decision to resign was not related to the issue.
“In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier,” the spokesperson told WSJ.
Gates reportedly “pursued” several other women over the past 27 years, wrote The New York Times. Among them was a Microsoft employee who received an email from Gates asking her to dinner in 2006. The email had also said, “If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened.”
Another woman who worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also said years later that she was asked out by Gates.
According to the Times and WSJ, the divorce between Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates was set in motion in October 2019 following reports of Gates’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of underage sex trafficking among other crimes. However, Gates’s representatives have denied that this played a factor in their relationship.
A spokesperson wrote to the Times that Gates’s “meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy… including who participated,” have been portrayed inaccurately.
The spokesperson added, “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.’”
Gates and French Gates announced their divorce on May 3. They have agreed to divide their $130 billion fortune and continue working as co-chairs of their philanthropic foundation.
Source: Yahoo! Entertainment