Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce could expose secrets from the couple’s long marriage, according to a new report.
The pair, who were married for almost 30 years and have already disclosed one extramarital affair took place within their relationship, announced their split last month.
But Mr Gates was also difficult to work with and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) were used to stop stories from coming out, one source who signed an NDA has now told Vanity Fair.
Mr Gates hasn’t commented publicly on these claims but The Independent understands he strongly denies suggestions NDAs were used to silence detractors and argues that every Microsoft employee signs an NDA.
This ex-employee also told the magazine that there were times that Mr Gates drove to the office in a Mercedes and left an hour later in a golden brown Porsche that a member of his security had brought.
“We all assumed that it was when he was with women,” they said. “I knew there were many offsite meetings that were not on his calendar.”
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Someone close to Mr Gates told Vanity Fair said many people around the tech mogul knew about his affairs.
A spokesperson for Mr 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’s divorce.”
They added: “The rumors and speculation are becoming increasingly absurd and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as ‘sources’.”
Earlier this year after the couple announced their split, a spokesperson for Mr Gates said the billionaire had an affair at Microsoft - the company he founded - nearly 20 years ago which “ended amicably”.
Members of the Microsoft board investigated the affair after being told about a letter sent by a female employee in 2019, claiming she had Mr Gates had a sexual relationship over the years. A spokesperson for Mr Gates has said the tech mogul’s decision to “transition off the board was in no way related to this matter”.
A Microsoft confirmed they “received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Mr Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000”.
According to the New York Times, Mr Gates pursued women who worked for him a few times when chair of Microsoft, including emailing an employee to ask her out for dinner.
Two sources also told Vanity Fair that Ms French Gates hired a private investigator before filing for divorce.
A spokesperson for Ms French Gates said this was “completely false”. “Neither Melinda nor anyone at her direction ever hired a private investigator,” they said.
The couple announced they were separating earlier this month after a marriage spanning nearly three decades.
The philanthropists said they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple” in the next stage of their lives in statements posted on social media.
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