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Bill Gates Was Holidaying With Ex Even After Marrying Melinda, 1997 Report Says

© AFP 2022 / SCOTT OLSON In this file photo taken on July 11, 2015 Billionaire Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., and his wife Melinda attend the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. - Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder-turned philanthropist, and his wife Melinda are divorcing after a 27-year-marriage, the couple said in a joint statement Monday. The announcement from one of the world's wealthiest couples, with an estimated net worth of some $130 billion, was made on Twitter.
 In this file photo taken on July 11, 2015 Billionaire Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp., and his wife Melinda attend the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. - Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder-turned philanthropist, and his wife Melinda are divorcing after a 27-year-marriage, the couple said in a joint statement Monday. The announcement from one of the world's wealthiest couples, with an estimated net worth of some $130 billion, was made on Twitter. - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.05.2021
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The Microsoft founder and his wife announced they will part. However, they noted that they will continue to work together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they established in 2000.

Bill Gates' marriage, which is ending after 27 years, seems to have been an unusual one, since, according to various reports and interviews, the billionaire was in the habit of spending a long weekend each year with his former girlfriend, software expert and investor Ann Winblad.

According to the Microsoft founder, he and Winblad started dating in 1984 and broke up three years later. However, they continued to spend time together after that.

In his 1997 profile in Time magazine, Gates said that his "annual weekend getaway" with his ex-girlfriend in North Carolina was part of the deal when he married Melinda French in 1994, adding that he even asked Winblad's opinion when he wanted to marry Melinda.

"When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval," he said.

Winblad reportedly said they would be a good couple because Melinda "had intellectual stamina".

According to the magazine, Gates had a couple of pictures of his old flame with him at the time of the interview, showing him and Winblad on a trip to Germany, and him and Winblad with a group of friends during their 1995 trip to Indonesia.

The Gates divorce is now the most expensive in the world, coming in at an estimated cost of $127 billion.

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