Did “Billion Dollar” Bill Gates’ alleged “inappropriate relationship” lead to his pending divorce with wife Melinda French Gates? That’s the question I’m posing after reading some fascinating articles concerning the world’s wealthiest bad dresser. A new story from The Wall Street Journal reports that Billy Boy Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors after an investigation was launched “after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship over years with Mr. Gates…”
“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 spokesman said. “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.”
According to the Journal article, Gates was reelected to the Microsoft board in December 2019, but decided to step down shortly thereafter in March 2020, citing his desire to focus on his philanthropic work.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates said, “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.” She said his “decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
Gentle reader, here’s where things get interesting. According to The Wall Street Journal piece, the woman who raised her concerns about the relationship with “Wild” Bill apparently wanted Mrs. French Gates to be aware of what was going on:
As part of her discussions with Microsoft, the employee asked that Ms. French Gates read her letter, people familiar with the matter said. It couldn’t be learned whether Ms. French Gates read the letter
However, Bill Gates’ what might have been an attempt to turn his Excel Spreadsheets into Bedsheets with the female engineer may not be the cause of the split. According to a May 9, 2021 Wall Street Journal report:
One source of concern for Ms. Gates was her husband’s dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to the people and a former employee of their charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
There may be more to the story than the rumor and innuendo currently circulating. The New York Times reported on May 16, 2021 that:
On at least a few occasions, Mr. Gates pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to people with direct knowledge of his overtures.
However, as a former attorney (and retired bank robber), I can tell you it’s not unusual to hear all sorts of stories emerge when a divorce is pending. In some cases they turn out to be true while in others they are grossly exaggerated or fabricated. “Billion Dollar” Bill’s spokesperson Bridgitt Arnold has this to say:
“Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated,” she continued. “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.’”
What happened? For now, we’ll have to wait and see but regardless of whether you think Bill Gates is some sort of lizard person or just a poorly dressed (albeit wealthy) computer nerd, there are going to be so many stories coming out that you’ll have to consider who is making the claims.