Bill Gates speaks about 'messing up' in his marriage to Melinda during an emotional Q&A at Sun Valley's billionaire summer camp, report says

Close-up of Bill Gates at a conference
Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images
  • Bill Gates spoke about his divorce at the Sun Valley conference, the New York Post reported.

  • "He basically referred to the fact that [the divorce] was his fault," one attendee told the Post.

  • "He did seem a bit emotional about it," they said. A second person said it was "very moving."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Bill Gates spoke about "messing up" during his marriage to Melinda French Gates at Allen & Co.'s billionaire-packed Sun Valley conference last week, sources told the New York Post on Monday.

In an "off the record" Q&A session, CNBC host Becky Quick asked the Microsoft founder about his divorce from French Gates, which the couple announced in May, one attendee said.

"He fessed up to messing up," the attendee said. "He basically referred to the fact that [the divorce] was his fault."

"He did seem a bit emotional about it," the attendee said. "He might have been on the verge of tears."

A second attendee told the Post that the private Q&A session was "very moving."

Read more: Sun Valley's 'summer camp for billionaires' starts next week - see who's going and what media and tech deals they'll be talking about

Gates didn't mention the word "affair" during the discussion, the first attendee said. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft had investigated Gates over 2019 claims that he engaged in a sexual relationship with a staffer over a number of years.

Gates had affairs that were an open secret to those around him, Vanity Fair reported in June.

Microsoft and the Gates Foundation directed the Post's requests for comment to Gates Ventures, which declined to comment.

A Gates representative did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Sources at the conference told Fox Business that Gates was due to give a speech about climate change at the Sun Valley conference, also known as the "billionaire summer camp."

Gates regularly attends the conference, hosted by private investment bank Allen & Co., but his appearance last week was the first time he's been to an event in person following the announcement of his divorce.

Microsoft insiders told Insider in June that Gates was an office bully who flirted with other women.

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