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Inappropriate office behaviour, relationship with Epstein caused Gates’ divorce: Report

“Mr Gates was known for making clumsy approaches to women in and out of the office.”

• May 17, 2021
Bill and Melinda Gates
Bill and Melinda Gates

Latest reports have linked the Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce to inappropriate behaviour in the workplace by Mr Gates as well as his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

On May 3, the Gates announced that they were splitting up after 27 years, but would continue to work together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The announcement has since raised questions to the possible reasons why one of the world’s richest, most powerful couples would split. 

The New York Times reported a history of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace on the part of Mr Gates, together with his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, as probable causes for Melinda’s filing for divorce. No sources are explicitly named in the report.   

Bill and Melinda met at Microsoft, where she started working in 1987 as a product manager. The couple got married in 1994. The report notes that Mr Gates went after women in the office even then.

In 2006, the Times noted that Mr Gates, attended a presentation by a female Microsoft employee and emailed the woman after she left the meeting, asking her out to dinner. 

Another incident is given, where Mr Gates, on a trip to New York with a woman who worked for the foundation, asked her to join him for dinner. The Times stated the woman shared this experience with them, pleading anonymity.

The Times added that six current and former employees of Microsoft, the foundation and the firm that manages the Gates’ fortune corroborated the report, saying that “Mr Gates was known for making clumsy approaches to women in and out of the office.”

In 2011, Mr Gates started spending time with Jeffrey Epstein, who pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor. 

Ms Gates had expressed discomfort with her husband spending time with the sex offender. This led to her hiring divorce lawyers in October 2019, when the relationship between Mr Gates and Mr Epstein went public. 

Other incidents spanning through 2017 to 2019 are reported, including Melinda’s dissatisfaction with the handling of a previously undisclosed sexual harassment claim against his longtime money manager, Michael Larson, and an affair. 

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