The gossip around Bill & Melinda Gates’ divorce slowed in recent weeks. That was what I expected at the start of the story – Bill and Melinda going to their separate lairs of doom with their teams of lawyers, publicists and crisis managers and hashing out their sh-t privately. Instead, we got weeks of drama and a series of revelations about Bill Gates’ history as a serial sexual harasser and cheater. We got stories about Bill’s closeness to Jeffrey Epstein, even after Gates knew all about Epstein’s criminality. We also learned that Melinda was ready to file for divorce in 2019, but they limped through the past two years until their youngest child graduated from high school, and until Melinda seemingly got all of her legal ducks in a row. Speaking of, Vanity Fair had a fascinating piece about what’s been happening in recent weeks, including some shadowy gossip about Microsoft:
More details will emerge: As the divorce proceeds past initial reports, people who know the couple expect more details to emerge. According to two people familiar with the situation, someone in Melinda’s circle worked with a private investigator leading up to filing, which these people expect to inform both the public and private case. A spokesperson for Melinda called the claim “completely false. Neither Melinda nor anyone at her direction ever hired a private investigator.”
His good-guy PR aside, Bill Gates has always been an a–hole: The decades of stories about him being difficult to work with are correct, said one former employee. They have been largely suppressed by Gates’s liberal use of nondisclosure agreements, ostensibly to keep more damning details under wraps, this person said. “For such a long time you were told, ‘You have an NDA. You can’t talk,’” said the former employee, who signed such an agreement. The current wave of reporting around Gates’s behavior encouraged this person to open up, but they are keenly aware that Gates has lawyers at the ready. “And these are not nice lawyers,” they added.
Bill Gates’ affairs: For years there have been whispers, within Microsoft and in Gates’s broader professional and social circles, about inappropriate extramarital relationships. None of it was entirely shocking, despite the seeming contrast with his public persona. Bill and Melinda’s relationship began as an office romance, with Bill as the boss and Melinda as the younger employee whom he flirted with at a conference before asking her out in the company parking lot.
An open secret around the office: For the people who worked for him, Bill’s behavior was something of an open secret. The former employee who signed an NDA said there were times when Bill came into the office driving a Mercedes, and an hour later, one of his security personnel showed up with a golden brown Porsche that Bill drove away in. “We all assumed that it was when he was with women,” the employee said. “I knew there were many offsite meetings that were not on his calendar.” According to someone close to Bill, his infidelities were no secret to many of the people around him. Yet another source close to Bill disputed that he would disappear from the office, saying he was “one of the most intensely scheduled people on the planet.”
How much did Melinda know? It’s not clear how much Melinda knew about her husband’s behavior or these rumors, or how much they factored into her decision to file for divorce. People close to the couple said there had been tension for some time, that they had been living separate lives for years, and that the decision to separate had been delayed until their youngest daughter graduated from high school. The Times reported that in 2018, Melinda was unhappy with how Bill dealt with a sexual harassment claim against his longtime money manager, insisting on bringing in outside investigators. And then in 2019, when the relationship between her husband and Jeffrey Epstein became public knowledge, she hired divorce lawyers, setting a plan into motion.
[From Vanity Fair]
“…Someone in Melinda’s circle worked with a private investigator leading up to filing” and “Neither Melinda nor anyone at her direction ever hired a private investigator.” That means her lawyers subcontracted someone who hired a private investigator on the downlow, but it was someone reputable. If you think about it, if Melinda knew she would be getting out for two-plus years, she could have spent that time gathering evidence for her own divorce. Not so much to actually use in a divorce trial, but stuff to hold over Bill’s head so that Melinda can get what she wants out of the divorce, including a guaranteed position at their foundation and a huge financial settlement. What the PI found was likely more evidence of Bill’s affairs, his sexual harassment of subordinates, and perhaps even more ties to Jeffrey Epstein. And Bill doesn’t want anything else coming out.
Here are some photos of Bill out in New York on May 22nd, with his daughter Phoebe. They went to dinner at Nobu and Bill got a doggy-bag or he ordered some extra food to take home.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
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