Was Melinda Gates Aware Of Bill Gates' Issues?

When Bill Gates announced he was stepping down from Microsoft as CEO in 2000, the tech giant asserted it was to focus on his charity organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (which he founded with estranged wife Melinda Gates that year). On May 16, The Wall Street Journal reported a different type of story. Bill's recent resignation from the Microsoft board completely came as Microsoft board members encouraged him to step down — and an investigation started in 2019 into claims made by a female engineer that she and Bill had an affair continued.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Bill, confirmed the affair to WSJ (via The New York Times), saying, "There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably. Gates's decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter." They added, "In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier."

Needless to say, many people wondered if Bill's divorce filing from Melinda, which the ex-couple announced in a joint May 3 statement, had to do with these unfolding and murky revelations. Moreover, how much did Melinda know about Bill's extramarital activities, which seem to be continuing to trickle out? Read on to find out what we know so far. 

Melinda Gates reportedly didn't know the whole story

The Wall Street Journal's May report of Bill Gates' affair with a Microsoft employee came the same day as allegations surfaced that Bill had also "pursued" other employees at Microsoft and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Per The New York Times, Bill emailed one such employee in the past asking her out with the qualification, "If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened." So how does Melinda Gates feel?

An insider has revealed that Melinda Gates knew of the allegations of Bill's extramarital relations, but she didn't know the full story. "Melinda was aware there were some issues, but it's unclear if she knew about all of it," the source told People. The insider continued, confirming that "there definitely were steps taken along the way with Microsoft at various times based on his behavior." Melinda may not have known the whole story, but she clearly knew some of it.

And if this reportedly quashed affair and workplace allegations did have to do with Melinda's divorce from Bill in May, it was probably not the only reason. According to another report by The Wall Street Journal, Melinda had begun consulting divorce lawyers since 2019, "when the Microsoft co-founder's ties to Jeffrey Epstein became public." Well, we wish the separated couple and their family the best as their divorce fall out, and its surprising updates, continue.