BILL Gates and his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad reportedly met up in a North Carolina beach house every year, even after the Microsoft co-founder married Melinda Gates.
The news comes after Bill and Melinda shocked the world with an announcement that they were getting divorced after 27 years.
Newly surfaced photos show the beach getaway which, according to the New York Post, is where the pair would meet up for the annual trip.
The snaps show a large and secluded beach house with an oceanfront view in the Outer Banks.
The home belongs to Winblad, according to The Post, but has been on the rental market since 2016.
The rental listing describes the home as a "royal retreat for beach lovers."
After the Gateses announced their split on Monday, an account where Bill detailed his close friendship with his ex in Time Magazine in 1997 resurfaced.
The article said that Gates had an "arrangement" with his wife where he was permitted to meet Winblad at the beach home for a long weekend each spring.
The Microsoft co-founder and Winblad broke up in 1987 — the same year that he met his future wife — but apparently remained close afterwards, with Gates even seeking his ex's blessing before marrying Melinda.
"When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda," Gates said in the Time interview, "I called Ann and asked for her approval."
Winblad reportedly approved, telling the outlet, "I said she'd be a good match for him because she had intellectual stamina."
Of their yearly getaways, Gates told the outlet the pair would "play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology."
Winblad added that they would, "share our thoughts about the world and ourselves," and "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."
It isn't clear how long or if these yearly trips continued after this interview.
Gates met Winblad at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference in 1984 and they went on to date for three years before splitting.
According to the Time article, they split because Winblad was several years older than Gates and was ready to settle down, while he was not.
The Outer Banks home boasts large deck areas, a private walkway to the beach that leads to a private gazebo in the sand, and a row of outdoor showers.
A three-night getaway at the deluxe beach home will run renters up $2,700, and it appears to be in high demand — as it's rented all throughout the summer.
Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce on Monday with a joint statement.
The ex-couple said they no longer felt they could "grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."
Source: Read Full Article