Bill Gates asked two women who worked at Microsoft and its philanthropic foundation to go out on dates while still married to Melinda, and mishandled a sexual harassment case against one of its top financial investors, according to a new report.
The Gates, one of the richest couples in the world with a fortune of $ 130 billion, announced their divorce this month, with Melinda saying the marriage was “irretrievably broken” in the divorce submissions.
The New York Times reported that Gates, 64, asked a Microsoft employee in 2006 after watching her give a presentation.
“If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” Gates emailed the employee, according to the Times.
The woman took his advice and claimed it never happened.
A few years later, Gates asked an employee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The couple were in New York on a work trip, when he told her, “I want to see you. Would you like to have dinner with me?
The woman told The Times that the approach made her uncomfortable, but she laughed.
The report said women were not expected to suffer professional repercussions for rejecting Gates’ advances.
It is not known if Melinda Gates, who met Bill at Microsoft in the late 1980s, was aware of her husband’s advances.
Bill and Melinda Gates were one of the richest couples in the world with a fortune of $ 130 billion, announced this month they were divorcing, with Melinda saying marriage was “irretrievably broken” in divorce requests .
The couple, seen here after receiving the Commander of the Legion of Honor in Paris in 2017, met at work at Microsoft in 1987. And Bill Gates then asked female employees years after their marriage in 1994.
Bill Gates emailed a Microsoft employee in 2006 after watching her give a presentation asking him to come out. “If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,” he wrote.
Melinda was also unhappy with the way the sexual harassment allegations against Gates’ key man Michael Larson, above, were handled.
Melinda, who now goes through Melinda French Gates, was also upset with the way the allegations of sexual harassment against Michael Larson, one of Gates’ key lieutenants and manager of his personal fortune, were handled.
Larsen oversaw the enormous expansion of Gates’ personal fortune through an investment vehicle, Cascade Investment.
In 2017, someone wrote to Bill and Melinda to complain that Larson was harassing an employee at a bike shop owned in part by venture capital firm Rally Capital, owned by the former married couple.
The woman reached a settlement in 2018, signing a nondisclosure agreement and receiving payment.
However, Melinda was not happy with the outcome and ordered an independent investigation.
According to the New York Times, Larson was put on leave during the investigation but was reinstated and still runs Cascade Investments.
The tipping point, however, appears to have been revelations about Gates’ close ties to Jeffrey Epstein, which surprised Melinda when they were first posted in October 2019.
Their friendship began in 2011, three years after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor.
Gates continued to spend time with Epstein despite Melinda’s concerns.
She hired divorce attorneys in the same month that revelations emerged about their relationship, which culminated in this month’s announcement of the end of their 27-year marriage.
Bill was already a billionaire, he married Melinda in the early 1990s. He founded Microsoft in 1975 and became the world’s youngest billionaire in 1987 at the age of 31. He also met Melinda that year while she was working at the company where he was CEO.
Gates spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold denied that Gates had mistreated employees.
“It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, circumstances and timing of Bill Gates’ divorce,” Ms. Arnold said.
“Your description of her encounters with Epstein and others on philanthropy is inaccurate, including who was there,” she told The Times.
The couple are pictured with their three children in a 2019 family photo. The kids – Jennifer (center), Rory (right) and Phoebe (left) are now 25, 21 and 18.
“The allegation of employee mistreatment is also false. Rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’ divorce are becoming more and more absurd, and it is unfortunate that people with little or no knowledge of the situation are being labeled “sources.”
Bill, 64, and Melinda, 56, met in 1987 – the same year he became the world’s youngest billionaire at the age of 31 – married in Hawaii in 1994 and have three children together. : Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21 and Phoebe. 18.
They also created the world’s largest charitable foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000, which has contributed more than $ 50 billion to causes such as polio and malaria eradication. The foundation has also been a major investor in coronavirus treatments.
In a joint statement posted to their Twitter accounts on Monday, the pair said their work with the foundation will continue, but their marriage will not continue, adding: “We don’t think we can grow as a couple in this next. phase of our life. “.
Although the couple do not have a marriage contract, it appears much of the work of dividing up their estate – which includes properties in five states, a private jet, an astonishing art collection, and a fleet of luxury cars – has already been carried out, such as their divorce. the papers repeatedly refer to a “separation contract” both of which were signed. The contract itself has not been made public.