We’re sure you’ve heard the news by now that Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are on the path of getting a divorce. However, did their twenty-seven-year-old marriage include a bit of infidelity, or is it just all talk & rumors? Well, recent news emerged that the billionaire did in fact spend long weekends with an ex-girlfriend of his . . . Hmm . . . Let’s take a dive into all the speculations here.
Bill and Ann
Before Bill Gates got together with his wife Melinda French in 1994, the now-billionaire had a relationship with Ann Winblad. Winblad, who is now married to actor Kevin Kline’s detective brother named Alex Kline, was also a fellow tech geek, and long after the two called it quits in the 90s, the two still remained in a mutual close friendship with one another. However, just how close was it?
It turns out that their friendship that continued long after they broke up was apparently strong enough for the two to spend one long weekend together once a year at a beach cottage all the way in North Carolina. These weekends were so important that Bill Gates even specified to his wife before they married in 1994 that they were part of the marriage deal, according to an interview with Time in 1997.
Gates said that the two often played putt-putt together “while discussing biotechnology”, as he appreciated Winblad for her intelligence. Bill Gates even added that he consulted with Ann before deciding if he should marry his wife, saying “When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval”. Ann added: “I said she’d be a good match for him because she had intellectual stamina”.
An annual trip
Bill Gates announced his divorce with his wife Melinda over Twitter on Monday after a long twenty-seven years of marriage, but could his long weekends spent with his ex have anything to do with it or could that just all be talk? The Microsoft founder revealed that the two began taking an annual trip to Winblad’s Outer Banks home after they started dating in 1984 after they met at a computer conference.
Even after they broke up in 1987, the pair had such a nice friendship that they still continued to make the trip down South with each other. Their trips in North Carolina included all types of fun activities from putt-putt to riding dune buggies, hang-gliding, and just peaceful strolls down along the gorgeous beach. Winblad said the two just shared thoughts with each other “about the world and ourselves”.
This was long before Bill’s billionaire days, and Winblad even revealed that when they were together, her net worth was much higher than his. Together, the two shared business ideas as well, and New York Post wrote that Winblad added “we marvel about how, as two young overachievers, we began a great adventure on the fringes of a little-known industry and it landed us at the center of an amazing universe”.
All about their relationship
After the two met at a computer conference, Ann Winblad & Bill Gates maintained a long distance relationship through virtual dates like a typical computer-geek couple. The two would plan romantic dates such as going to see the same movie in their own cities despite not being able to go with each other, but talking about it together on a virtual date or phone call afterwards.
Winblad was a former high school valedictorian and head cheerleader from Minnesota, and co-founded an accounting software company which she later sold. She went on to partner with retired NBA Supersonics player John Hummer in a venture-capital firm. Six years ago, the businesswoman ended up marrying sixty-three-year-old Alex Kline.
Because both Bill Gates & Ann Winblad were married during these times, maybe their annual trips together were truly nothing more than what they stated they were. Who knows? Let us know in the comments how you feel about their weekend trips down South every year.