The billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates shocked the world last week when they announced that they are divorcing after 27 years of marriage. Despite the fact that Bill has long been known as a straight-laced tech mogul, his biographer is now speaking out to say that he was actually known as a “womanizer” who threw naked pool parties with strippers prior to his marriage.

In his 1997 biography “Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace,” James Wallace wrote that while Bill’s wild lifestyle was well known in his inner circle, newspapers like the New York Times hid the unflattering reports to continue getting “spoon-fed stories.”

Wallace added that the media “didn’t report on the wild bachelor parties that Microsoft’s boyish chairman would throw in his Seattle home, for which Gates would visit one of Seattle’s all-nude nightclubs and hire dancers to come to his home and swim naked with his friends in his indoor pool.”

Wallace picked up these habits during his time at Harvard, where Wallace said he “did like to frequent Boston’s notorious Combat Zone, with its porn shows, strip joints, and prostitutes.”

Wallace also claimed that Bill’s wild lifestyle didn’t end when he began dating Melinda in 1988.

“He continued to play the field for a while, especially when he was out of town on business, when he would frequently hit on female journalists who covered Microsoft and the company industry,” Wallace wrote.

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“His womanizing was well known, although not well reported,” he continued, specifically singling out the Times for not wanting “the flow of information to stop” from the computer guru.

Wallace added that Melinda “was well aware of Gates’s womanizing” even after they started dating.

“Consequently their relationship ran hot and cold,” he explained, saying that the couple “broke up for nearly a year” because of Bill’s refusal to commit.

“When they got back together again in 1992, however, the relationship grew closer and stronger,” he wrote.

This comes one week after Bill and Melinda announced that they are divorcing, as their marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

“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 in a statement. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” their statement concluded. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

This piece was written by Mark Baker on May 11, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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