Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce suddenly feels more complicated now that allegations have surfaced about a years-long affair the former Microsoft chairman may have had with an employee. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a 2019 letter that was submitted to the company’s board initiated an investigation, along with an outside law firm, about the entanglement. That series of events eventually led to Gates stepping down before the case was officially wrapped up.
“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 Microsoft representative said to the publication. “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.”
Bill Gates looked happy to be spending time with his kids amid his contentious divorce. https://t.co/IvacZRKsTQ
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) May 14, 2021
However, the entrepreneur’s camp has a slightly different tale to tell. While they don’t deny the affair, they affirm that his exit from the board was not related to the incident. “There was an affair almost 20 years ago, which ended amicably. Bill’s decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter,” his spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal, and confirmed to SheKnows via email. “In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
It reportedly was a female engineer, who alerted the board to her affair with Bill amid the company restructuring its sexual harassment and discrimination policies in 2019. She also asked that her letter be given to Gates’ wife, although The Wall Street Journal was unable to confirm if she received it. Even if Bill had a desire to focus on philanthropy, his resignation from the board came only three months after he was reelected, and 2019 was around the time Melinda started looking for a divorce lawyer to represent her. (And it’s not the first time Bill has been accused of stepping outside his marriage.)
Many reports have pinned some of the blame on Bill’s alleged ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, but it seems like the Microsoft board investigation may have played a hand in this as well if Melinda was aware of the allegations. While the couple has continued to remain silent after their initial divorce announcement, the stories of went happened behind the scenes are only getting louder.
Before you go, click here to see all the celebrities who have admitted to cheating on their partners.