Bill Gates was 'on verge of tears' as he opened up about divorce

‘I blame myself’: Bill Gates was ‘left on the verge of tears’ at ‘billionaire summer camp’ Sun Valley as he opened up about $130B divorce from Melinda during panel talk and said ‘it was all his fault’

  • Microsoft co-founder reportedly spoke about divorce at a conference last week 
  • In May, it was announced he and Melinda Gates were ending 27-year marriage 
  • Gates attended ‘billionaire summer camp’ in Sun Valley, Idaho last week 
  • During Q&A, Gates ‘appeared on verge of tears’ when talking about divorce 
  • ‘He basically referred to the fact that [the divorce] was his fault,’ attendee said 
  • Gates reportedly did not mention an affair as the reason for the divorce 
  • Ex-Microsoft boss reportedly pursued affairs with employees and journalists
  • News of divorce prompted fresh scrutiny on Bill Gates’ ties with Jeffrey Epstein 

Bill Gates was reportedly on the verge of tears at last week’s ‘billionaire summer camp’ as he ‘fessed up to messing up’ his marriage to soon-to-be-ex-wife Melinda French Gates.

The billionaire philanthropist opened up about his pending divorce to his wife of 27 years during an ‘off the record’ question-and-answer session at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho last week, the New York Post reported.

‘He fessed up to messing up,’ one of the attendees told the Post.

‘He basically referred to the fact that it [the divorce] was his fault.’

The source added: ‘He did seem a bit emotional about it. He might have been on the verge of tears.’

Bill Gates is seen right alongside Chubb Limited CEO Evan Greenberg at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho on Thursday

Gates was reportedly on the verge of tears at last week’s ‘billionaire summer camp’ as he ‘fessed up to messing up’ his marriage to soon-to-be-ex-wife Melinda French Gates

Gates, 65, came under scrutiny after he and Melinda Gates announced their divorce in May and reports emerged of his alleged extramarital affairs. Melinda, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is seen above in Paris on June 30

In the Q&A hosted by CNBC host Becky Quick, Gates reportedly did not refer to an ‘affair’ as the reason for the divorce.

Gates, 65, came under scrutiny after he and Melinda Gates, 56, announced their divorce in May and reports emerged of his alleged extramarital affairs and concerns over the nature of his relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In divorce filings, Melinda said the marriage was ‘irretrievably broken.’

After the divorce was announced, it was learned Gates, who was CEO of Microsoft at the time, had an ‘inappropriate’ sexual relationship with a female staff member in 2000, and resigned while an investigation into the relationship was being investigated by the company board. 

The affair came to light after the Microsoft employee wrote to the board in 2019 detailing it – and allegedly asked that Gates’ estranged wife read the letter. 

Gates quit the board suddenly in March 2020 while the investigation was still underway. 

His spokeswoman confirmed there had been an affair almost 20 years ago but said his decision to leave Microsoft’s board was not linked to it.

The revelation comes alongside two bombshell reports on the unraveling of the couple’s marriage. 

The Daily Beast revealed Bill Gates sought marriage advice from convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein during dozens of meetings at his $77million Manhattan townhouse between 2011 and 2014, far more than had previously been reported. 

The New York Times reported that Gates asked two women who worked at Microsoft and his philanthropic foundation out on dates while still married to Melinda. 

Melinda, who now goes by Melinda French Gates, was also upset at the way allegations of sexual harassment against Michael Larson, one of Gates’ key lieutenants and the manager of his personal fortune, were handled. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Microsoft board decided that Gates should step down after the relationship almost two decades earlier was deemed to be ‘inappropriate’.  

The same day Gates quit Microsoft he also announced he was stepping down from his position with the board of Berkshire Hathaway, run by his friend Warren Buffet.

Pictured L-R: Melinda, Bill, Jennifer, Phoebe and Rory Gates in an Instagram post following Jennifer’s graduation from Stanford

In a press release the tech mogul said he would continue to serve as a technical adviser to Microsoft’s Chief Executive Satya Nadella.

A Microsoft spokesman told the Wall Street Journal: ‘Microsoft received a concern in the latter half of 2019 that Bill Gates sought to initiate an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000. 

‘A committee of the Board reviewed the concern, aided by an outside law firm to conduct a thorough investigation. Throughout the investigation, Microsoft provided extensive support to the employee who raised the concern.’

A spokeswoman for Gates said his decision to leave the board had nothing to do with the affair, saying ‘There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.’

Gates reportedly opened up about his marriage during a Q&A session in Sun Valley, Idaho hosted by CNBC anchor Becky Quick (pictured on Wednesday)

The spokeswoman told the Journal his ‘decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.’ 

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast reported that Gates told Epstein his marriage to Melinda was ‘toxic’, which both men found funny.

Gates suggested Epstein become involved with the couple’s philanthropic organization and ‘rehabilitate his image’ after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution, according to a person who attended the meetings.

Gates’ visits to Epstein’s ‘lair’ was an escape from the marriage, according to the source, who said the pair ‘were very close’.

Another person who was in attendance and reportedly heard Gates speak said that the tech mogul was ‘very moving.’

But others who were in Sun Valley reported that Gates seemed ‘agitated’ during his stay, particularly when others at the conference approached him in an attempt to strike up a conversation.

‘Bill Gates was pretty much a total a*****e,’ one attendee told the Post. 

Four Microsoft employees accused Gates, a co-founder of the company and its former CEO, of being an office ‘bully’ whose catchphrase was ‘that’s the stupidest f*****g idea I’ve ever heard’ and claimed he pursued sexual affairs with employees and journalists.

A former Microsoft executive who spoke on condition of anonymity told Insider last month that ‘having a meeting with Bill was just an opportunity to get yelled at, so I tried to avoid that.’

Melinda Gates herself was an employee at Microsoft, having been hired as a product manager in 1987, when the billionaire first asked her out months after flirting with her at a conference dinner.

In 2006, Bill Gates allegedly asked a female Microsoft employee out to dinner in an email after attending a presentation she had given, The New York Times reported.

‘If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,’ Gates wrote in the email obtained by The New York Times.

A Gates Foundation employee told the outlet that the billionaire asked her on a date while they were at a cocktail party in New York.

The couple are pictured with their three kids Jennifer (center), Rory (right) and Phoebe (left) in 2019. The kids were said to be ‘very angry’ with their father, according to the sources 

‘I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?’ Gates allegedly told the woman.

In the 1992 biography Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, author James Wallace revealed Gates had an alleged affair with a married woman 13 years older than him when he was 27 years old.

Gates’ alleged affair was with the wife of an Osborne Computer executive who lived abroad, according to the biography.

An Osborne Computer executive who knew about the alleged affair told Wallace that ‘Bill had a real fondness for older women then.’

Adam Osborne, who developed the first commercially successful PC known as Osborne 1, allegedly demanded that Gates stop seeing the wife of his employee.

‘Gates told Osborne to mind his own business,’ Wallace wrote.

Gates himself told BBC that he would hack his school’s scheduling software to ensure he would be the only boy in class.

‘I was the one who benefited by being able to have the nice girls at least sit near me. It wasn’t that I could talk to them or anything, but they were there,’ Gates said.

Wallace told Insider that, while Gates attended Harvard University in 1973, he would allegedly visit strip clubs in an area of Boston once referred to as the Combat Zone because of its notorious strip clubs, porn theaters, and prostitution.

Gates himself admitted to frequenting the area, centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, in a 1994 interview he did with Playboy magazine.

‘Just because I went there doesn’t mean I engaged in everything that was going on,’ Gates said.

‘I ate pizza, read books and watched what was going on. I went to the diners.’

Wallace claimed to Insider that Gates’ penchant for socializing with women remained even after he started dating Melinda Gates in 1987.

Gates was allegedly known to invite friends to swim naked at his bachelor pad in Laurelhurst where he ’rounded up’ dancers from local all-nude nightclubs, Wallace said.

‘I don’t know if he physically transported them or if he just told them where to show up,’ Wallace told the outlet.

Melinda Gates warned her husband against any further contact with Jeffrey Epstein (right) after the couple had an uncomfortable meeting with the convicted sex offender

Robert X. Cringely, who wrote a popular computer gossip column for InfoWorld, told Insider that Gates was allegedly often inebriated at tech events and after-parties and that he ‘got drunk pretty easily.’

‘All of us will have been at some affair where Bill was clearly impaired. He was happier’ drunk, Cringely said.

Gates, then 33, took a helicopter to Les Arcs ski resort in the French Alps for an international sales meeting for Microsoft in the summer of 1988 where he was allegedly caught lying on top of a woman on the lawn.

The pair were ‘just snuggling’ after Gates joined his employees for drinks in a Swiss chalet and partied until the early morning, Dan Graves, a former Microsoft export manager, told Insider.

After he started dating Melinda, Gates allegedly struggled to commit to her and she was allegedly aware of his ‘womanizing,’ the outlet reported. The couple even broke up for at least a year early in their relationship.

‘Bill wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and have Microsoft,’ Melinda said in an interview for the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.

Even after marrying Melinda, Gates told Time magazine in 1997 that he still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, the software entrepreneur whom he had dated from 1984 to 1987.

Bill and Melinda Gates’ personal affairs have been managed by Watermark Estate Management since at least 2001, which would allegedly arrange Gates’ annual beach trips with Winblad.

Meanwhile, Gates is reported to have taken meetings with Epstein including a flight to Palm Beach on Epstein’s private plane.

Gates’ spokesperson told the outlet that Gates had ‘absolutely no business partnership or personal friendship’ with Epstein, and any meetings between the two were about philanthropy.

‘It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many lies published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’s divorce,’ the spokesperson said.

Bill Gates, not pictured, still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, pictured, the software entrepreneur whom he had dated from 1984 to 1987, even after marrying Melinda Gates

‘The rumors and speculation surrounding Mr. Gates are becoming increasingly absurd and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge are being characterized as “sources”.’

Gates’ relationship with Epstein reportedly dates back to 2011, but it became a point of contention for the couple in September 2013, the Daily Beast reported.

Melinda Gates reportedly told friends she was furious about their alleged friendship and wanted nothing to do with Epstein but sources said Bill Gates allegedly visited Epstein’s house numerous times.

Bill Gates even reportedly talked about his ‘toxic’ marriage to Epstein who allegedly gave Gates advice on ending his marriage, according to the Daily Beast.

Wallace claimed to Insider that ‘there were some big-name journalists who knew about this behavior’ over the years.

However, they ‘never reported on it because they knew Microsoft would have taken away their access,’ he said.

Gates allegedly even gained a reputation for hitting on female reporters who covered industry conferences such as Comdex, Wallace said.

‘The journalists said that it was their understanding that they weren’t the only ones either,’ he added.

Stories about Gates have allegedly been kept quiet over the years but ‘the halo broke’ when Melinda divorced Gates, a Microsoft employee told Insider.

‘Anyone who had stories could bring all those stories out,’ the source said.  

Bill Gates’s longtime money manager ‘rated the looks of female colleagues, showed nude photos of women in the office, bullied staff and made a racist remark to one employee’ 

Michael Larson, 61, has managed Bill Gates’s money for the past 27 years

Bill Gates’s money manager shared nude photos of women in the office, rated female colleagues on their looks and made racist and sexually-offensive remarks, former employees have claimed.

They described Michael Larson, 61, as an infamous bully who disparaged his female staff and humiliated those around him.

At a work Christmas party in the mid-2000s, sources told The New York Times that Larson was seated outdoors with a small group of male employees after dinner, with three female colleagues standing about 20 feet away.

‘Which one of them do you wanna f***,’ Larson asked them.

When a female staff member was attending Weight Watchers, Larson allegedly asked if it was to lose weight for him.

Another woman at his firm was allegedly asked by Larson if she would strip for a certain amount of money. 

One woman who managed a local bike store complained that Larson repeatedly propositioned her, according to The New York Times.

Ybarra was hired in 2001 as an investor relations analyst. In 2004 Larson made racist comments

She repeatedly rebuffed him, but she claimed – in a lawyer’s letter sent to the Gateses, threatening to sue – that he had exposed himself to her, and said he wanted to have sex with her and another woman.

Bill Gates agreed to settle the matter by having a payment made to the bike store manager, the paper reported.

Melinda Gates insisted that an outside investigator review the incident and Cascade’s culture – an investigation that took place in 2018, as Larson went on leave.

He returned in 2019; Melinda was said to be unsatisfied by the outcome. 

In November of one election year, Larson asked his staff about the best time to vote for the presidential election.

Stacy Ybarra, who joined the company in 2001 as an investor relations analyst, replied that she had voted that morning without having to wait in line.

‘But you live in the ghetto, and everybody knows that black people don’t vote,’ Larson responded, according to The New York Times’ sources.  

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