Bill Gates admitted Sunday to having an affair with a Microsoft engineer—a relationship that sparked an internal investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported. Some members of the Board of Directors thought the co-founder should leave the board, but he resigned before the probe could be completed and now claims his exit had nothing to do with the matter, the Journal said. “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” a Gates spokeswoman said.
The Journal report came hours after The New York Times reported that while Gates was married to his wife, Melinda, he was known to “pursue” multiple women he worked with. The newspaper cites a 2006 incident in which Gates attended a presentation by a Microsoft employee and then emailed a dinner invitation, writing, “If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened.” An unidentified woman who worked for the Gates Foundation told the Times that, in 2007 or 2008, Gates popped a question at a cocktail party: “I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?” Some employees said his behavior created an uncomfortable atmosphere, while others said they did not see it as predatory. The Gateses announced two weeks ago that they are getting divorced.