Bill and Melinda split: Explosive new allegations claim Bill Gates had affair with engineer, pursued other employees

New reports have claimed Microsoft founder Bill Gates was dismissive to his wife at work and also actively pursued other female colleagues while still married.

Gates and his wife Melinda made the shock announcement they were splitting up after 27 years together in a social media post on May 4.

"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," they said.

But two new reports have claimed the relationship may not have been stable for a while, with Gates allegedly actively pursuing other women while the couple was still together.

The New York Times reported in 2006, Gates attended a presentation at Microsoft where he liked the woman who presented so much he later emailed her, asking her out to dinner.

"If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened," Gates reportedly told her.

Sources also told the Times Gates asked out a woman who worked for their foundation while they were on a work trip in New York.

Both women are believed to have declined his advances.

The Times, citing current and former employees of the multi-billionaire, went on to say his approaches towards women were clumsy and he never seemed predatory or like he was abusing his power.

Gates' spokesperson Bridgitt Arnold denied all of the accusations in the article, including that Gates was dismissive of Melinda and the accusations of affairs.

"Any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false," she said.

"The claim of mistreatment of employees is also false. The rumours and speculation surrounding Gates's divorce are becoming increasingly absurd, and it's unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge of the situation are being characterized as 'sources.'"

This comes after the Wall Street Journal reported Gates was told to step down from his position on the Microsoft board in 2020 as it investigated reports he had a sexual relationship with a company engineer that was "deemed inappropriate".

"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 Microsoft spokesman told the publication.

"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 reportedly confirmed the affair in a statement, but said it ended "amicably" almost 20 years ago.

She said 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."