It looks like those Bill Gates and Melinda Gates affair rumors are true. The Microsoft co-founder responded to allegations that he cheated on his wife of 27 years in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, admitting that “there was an affair” that took place decades ago.
The 64-year-old philanthropist reportedly had an extramarital affair with a Microsoft employee prior to resigning from the company in 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal. In their report on Sunday, May 16, WSJ claimed that the company’s board of directors was interested in removing him from the board while investigating the billionaire’s romantic relationship with a staff member. The board launched their investigation in 2019 after reportedly receiving a letter from a female engineer who claimed that Bill attempted to “initiate an intimate relationship” with her in 2020. But Bill, who resigned in March 2020 before the investigation was completed, says that an affair had nothing to do with his departure from the company.
“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,” a spokesperson for Bill told WSJ. “In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
Confirmation of Bill’s affair comes days after social media users began speculating that a third party was to blame for the end of the billionaire’s marriage with Melinda. Previously, Zhe “Shelly” Wang—a woman who worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—was accused of splitting up the pair, though she purportedly denied the speculation on Chinese social media site Weibo in early May.
“I thought that the rumors would go away by themselves, but I did not expect the rumors to become more and more crazily spread,” Wang wrote, as per Page Six. “How many books can I read, so why spend time on the unfounded rumors? I would like to thank everyone for their concern and help in dispelling the rumors through private messages in the past 24 hours,” she added, before concluding her post with “#Gates divorce, some vicious people rumor to vilify an innocent Chinese girl.”