Facts About Bill Gates Accused of 'Asked out Two Staff at Microsoft'
|Photo: Getty Images|
Bill Gates asked two women who worked atMicrosoft and his philanthropic foundation out on dates while still married to Melinda, and mishandled a sexual harassment case against one of his top financial investors, a new report claims.
The Gates, one of the world's richest couples with a fortune of $130billion, announced this month they were getting divorced, with Melinda saying the marriage is 'irretrievably broken' in divorce filings.
The New York Times reported that Gates, 64, asked out a Microsoft employee in 2006 after watching her make a presentation.
|Former Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates, alleged to have questionable relationships with women while married GETTY IMAGES|
'If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,' Gates emailed the employee, according to the Times.
The woman took his advice and pretended it never happened.
A couple of years later, Gates asked out an employee with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The pair were in New York for a work trip, when he told her: 'I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?'
The woman told the Times the approach made her feel uncomfortable, but she laughed it off.
The report said there was no expectation that the women would suffer professional repercussions for spurning Gates' advances.
It's not clear whether Melinda Gates, who met Bill at Microsoft in the late 1980s, was aware of her husband's advances.
Bridgitt Arnold, a representative for Gates, told The Times that "any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false."
She continued: "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.'"
Questions About Bill Gate's Marriage
|Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images|
A spokesperson for 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."
The Wall Street Journal’s illuminating investigative piece coincided with an article in The New York Times alleging Gates made overtures to women at both Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The New York Times cited two instances where “the tech mogul clumsily asked out women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
According to the Daily Beast, “sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein gave Bill Gates advice on ending his marriage with Melinda after the Microsoft cofounder complained about her during a series of meetings at the money manager’s mansion, according to two people familiar with the situation.”
“The Daily Beast exclusively reported, Melinda Gates was furious over Bill’s relationship with Epstein, and was put off by the creepy financier upon meeting him in September 2013.” It was also reported that she was “upset over how Bill handled a previously undisclosed sexual harassment claim against his longtime money manager, Michael Larson, in 2018.”
Gates met and courted Melinda French Gates while she was a Microsoft employee. She started dating Gates in 1987, the couple married in 1994 and have three children. The couple recently announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.
In a statement to the New York Times, a spokesperson for Gates said, "It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates' divorce."
According to the spokesperson, the "claim of mistreatment of employees is also false" and "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.'"
Gates became a fixture on the news, weighing in on Covid-19, vaccines and a wide array of other global matters. His past take-no-prisoners approach to business at Microsoft was forgotten. He transformed into a new persona of a caring, well-meaning philanthropist.
In fairness, Gates has accomplished great work through his foundation and efforts. He may have saved and improved millions of lives around the world through his philanthropic endeavors.
It appears, in hindsight, that this may have been some sort of attempt for redemption, atoning for past actions. Sadly, moving forward, in light of these allegations, Gates’ reputation and practices are now open to further questions and scrutiny.
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