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Bill Gates Accused Of Making “Clumsy Approaches To Women” While Still Married

today20 May 2021

Background

Bill Gates has always been seen as the kind philanthropist, a good-natured man who is the kind of neighbour who would give you the whole packet of sugar if you were to ask for a few spoonfuls. After all, this is the same man who promises to give away half his wealth through The Giving Pledge (yeap, his kids stand to inherit less than 1 per cent of his fortune), has an investment portfolio that is heavy on the healthcare front and actively addresses the climate crisis. Amidst that, was his seemingly happy marriage to Melinda French Gates (with whom he has three children). Unfortunately,  following the news that Bill and Melinda will be ending their marriage is the shattering of the facade of billionaire philanthropist, only to be replaced with one of a man who allegedly treated his workplace like “a pickup spot”.

 

It started with The Wall Street Journal (on Sunday) reporting that Microsoft’s board had hired a law firm to investigate Gates in 2019, over claims he had had an affair with an engineer at the company in 2000. Not only was this highly inappropriate, but it was also a mere six years after he wed Melinda Gates. The pair had met at Microsoft, where Bill was the co-founder and CEO and Melinda started as a marketing manager for multimedia products. They began dating in 1987 and tied the knot in 1994.

 

 

Now, the report by The Wall Street Journal was then followed by a separate, related one by The New York Times. Where the WSJ claims that Bill Gates had “sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000”, The New York Times revealed that “on at least a few occasions,” Bill Gates had pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft as well as at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The NYT notes:

 

“Multiple people said that during their marriage, Mr. Gates engaged in work-related behavior that they said was inappropriate for a person at the helm of a major publicly traded company and one of the world’s most influential philanthropies.”

 

The NYT cites an occasion in 2006, where Bill Gates emailed a female Microsoft employee to ask her out to dinner. According to them and their source, the email included the line:

 

“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” 

 

That’s not all.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bill Gates (@thisisbillgates)

 

Another incident involving Bill Gates was with a woman he travelled to New York with, on behalf of the Gates Foundation. The now 65-year-old billionaire is said to have told the woman in question:

 

“I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” 

 

The New York Times cites six (current and former) Microsoft employees as having confirmed that the workplace environment was uncomfortable, owing to Bill Gates’s “clumsy approaches to women in and out of the office”. Nevertheless, they did clarify that this behaviour was “not perceive[d] to be predatory” as  “he did not pressure the women to submit to his advances for the sake of their careers (unlike a certain director).

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bill Gates (@thisisbillgates)

 

The end to the couple’s 27-year marriage was announced on Twitter, with the duo sharing:

 

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” 

 

While neither Bill nor Melinda have shared the exact reason for their divorce (it is their personal, private decision after all), this hasn’t stopped public speculation. Amongst the reasons brought up, it seems to range from Bill’s alleged incessant flirting to his link to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Gates himself hasn’t responded but a spokesperson – Bridgitt Arnold – refuted the claims while speaking to the NYT, firmly stating:

 

 

“It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances, and the timeline of Bill Gates’ divorce. The rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’ 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.'”

 

*Cover image credits: Netflix, 'Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates'

Written by: Marissa Anne


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