Did Melinda Gates Know About Bill Gates' Problematic Behavior?

Now that the marriage between Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates is coming to an end, stories have begun to emerge about Bill Gates' questionable behavior, both while he was chairman at Microsoft, and as the head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. These tales include an affair with a staffer which happened nearly 20 years ago (the couple have been married for 27 years) and the advances he'd reportedly made toward different women at both workplaces. It appears, at least to one anonymous source that spoke to People, that "Melinda was aware there were some issues, but it's unclear if she knew about all of it."

The insider also said that "There definitely were steps taken along the way with Microsoft at various times based on his [Bill Gates'] behavior."

The New York Times reports that Bill Gates was known for going after women who worked at his organizations. It cited one instance where, after a presentation conducted by a Microsoft employee, he had reportedly emailed to ask her to dinner. He also told her in an email that "If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened." 

Sources say it's not clear how much Melinda Gates knew

And while those of us on the outside were shocked when the power couple of philanthropy announced that they were calling it a day, insiders didn't seem to feel the same way. As another anonymous source pointed out to People in a report, "He could have treated Melinda better. He's not a saint, but there isn't one thing that created the final split. It goes deeper than that."

Per The New York Times, Melinda Gates didn't approve of Bill Gates' relationship with late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. When the outlet reported a story about the men's interactions, Melinda was unhappy to learn of details she hadn't previously known. In 2019, she hired divorce lawyers. Further, it seems that Melinda's focus on female empowerment runs counter to her husband's relationship with a sex trafficker. Still, "It is not clear how much Ms. French Gates knew about her husband's behavior or to what degree it contributed to their split," per The NYT.

The source who spoke to People said both Bill and Melinda Gates had gone through changes that would have convinced them that they were better apart. "It's many years of differing views of the world, the foundation, and of life in general, and those things piling up. They are older and each personally looked at life and asked, 'Is there more out there than what I have?'" the source said.