Bill Gates admitted ‘messing up’ marriage at ‘moving’ Sun Valley panel, report claims

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American business magnate Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates attend a news conference by United Nations’s movement “Every Woman, Every Child” in Manhattan, New York 24 September 2015 (REUTERS)
American business magnate Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates attend a news conference by United Nations’s movement “Every Woman, Every Child” in Manhattan, New York 24 September 2015 (REUTERS)

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has purportedly confessed to "messing up" his marriage to his ex-wife Melinda French Gates, according to a report.

The New York Post reported that the tech giant made the comments during an “off the record” question-and-answer session at an exclusive Sun Valley conference last week.

CNBC host Becky Quick reportedly questioned Mr Gates about his divorce, which the couple announced in May this year after 27 years of marriage.

“He fessed up to messing up,” an unnamed attendee reportedly told The Post. “He basically referred to the fact that it [the divorce] was his fault.”

Rumours have been swirling around the power couple’s relationship ever since the pair publicly announced their split. Mr Gates has also faced increased scrutiny over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein since the divorce was announed.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the pair previously said in a joint statement on Twitter.

They added: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this next life.”

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The couple works together to run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charity in the world. The couple will continue to work together as co-chairs of their foundation even after their planned divorce.

In the event that after two years the couple decides they do not wish to continue working together, Ms French Gates will resign her positions as co-chair and trustee, the charity said last week.

In the weeks following, The Wall Street Journal reported the billionaire had previously had an affair at Microsoft almost 20 years ago and that the company conducted an investigation into the allegations in 2019.

A spokesperson for Mr Gates has acknowledged that “there was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably”.

During the Allen & Co conference last week Mr Gates refrained from using the word “affair” when discussing the end of his marriage, an attendee told The Post.

The exclusive conference hosts around 300 to 400 people including some of the biggest names in business, politics and philanthropy.

The outlet reported that Mr Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were seen walking together on Thursday ahead of Mr Gates’ talk on climate change on Friday.

The Independent has contacted the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for comment.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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