Earlier this month, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that their marriage was ending, having filed for divorce. This weekend, more details came out about Bill Gates’ “reputation for questionable behavior” and the events leading up to Melinda Gates wanting a divorce, The New York Times reports.
- The Gates have been married for 27 years and currently run the international philanthropic foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a New York Times article published Sunday, previously unreleased details have come out about Bill Gates’ allegations of sexual misconduct, the couple’s dispute over the handling of 2018 sexual harassment claims against the couple’s money manager, and Melinda Gates’ discomfort with her husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Microsoft’s investigation of Bill Gates’ 2000 affair and other misconduct
“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,” according to a Microsoft spokesman in the New York Post.
- In response to the concern, Microsoft’s board of directors decided to conduct an investigation into the matter, hiring an external law firm, the New York Post reports.
- Bill Gates’ resignation came shortly after, while the investigation was underway.
Before the investigation was complete, members of the board had already decided it was no longer suitable for Bill Gates to head the company he had founded and run since 1975, CNN and the New York Post said.
- In Microsoft’s statement, made Sunday, the company did not specify if the investigation was still ongoing.
A spokeswoman for Bill Gates told The Wall Street Journal, “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. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
Sexual harassment claim against the Gates’ money manager
Previously undisclosed details also emerged in The New York Times about the sexual harassment claim against the Gates’ longtime money manager, Michael Larson. Bill Gates wanted the 2018 incident handled confidentially; Melinda Gates wanted an external investigation into the matter, The New York Times said.
- Larson is still in his role.
Concerns about Bill Gates’ relationship with Jeffrey Epstein
According to The New York Times, Bill Gates became friends with Epstein, a convicted pedophile accused of sex trafficking girls and pleaded guilty to allegations of soliciting prostitution from minors, in 2011. Melinda Gates voiced concerns early on. When Epstein came under public fire as a sex offender in 2014, Bill Gates continued spending time with him.
- Melinda Gates expressed her discomfort, said The New York Times.
- According to the New York Post and The New York Times, shortly after Bill Gates’ relationship with Epstein became public in October 2019, Melinda Gates hired divorce lawyers.
The breakup of the high-profile power couple comes with large social and financial implications.