May 28, 2024

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PR Crisis Lessons from Bill and Melinda Gates’ Divorce

For anyone that’s been following the most recent billionaire and celebrity divorce, it should be no surprise that Bill and Melinda Gates are currently getting one. Additionally, recent news developments have also shifted the public’s perspective toward Melinda French Gates actually winning the battle of the public opinion.

After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced they would be getting divorced, which was soon followed by a number of news articles casting Bill in a negative light. Both parties shared the divorce announcements on the social network Twitter, which suggested that the messages had been planned beforehand.

Everything began when the Wall Street Journal published a story on how the board at Microsoft had hired a law company to investigate the co-founder’s activities due to an alleged affair over two decades ago, in 2000.

Several former employees also gave statements for The New York Times, saying how the co-founder had made various advances towards them, which made the workplace generally uncomfortable.

These news stories have not only put a negative light on Bill Gates, but they’ve started to shift the public’s perception of him. While previously, the public thought that the Microsoft co-founder was an introverted guy into technology, some people no longer have a very empathetic or sympathetic perspective on him and his newly uncovered behavior.

Not only that, but another report surfaced stating that Melinda French Gates had actually met with the divorce lawyers back in 2019 first, around the time when connections between Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein were first made public.

However, in order to combat the wave of negative press, a spokesperson for the Microsoft co-founder released a statement on how disappointing the misinformation and false news stories were about the divorce and its circumstances. The spokesperson also cleared up some of the details of the meetings between Gates and Epstein, as well as the participants in those meetings.

They also went on to mention the falsehood of the employee mistreatment at the workplace and included that the Microsoft co-founder never spoke of his marriage or his spouse in a negative manner.

Whether all of the sudden articles surrounding Bill Gates were previously planned or not, all of the news stories, real or not, are currently working out in Melinda’s favor. Through these articles, the public can get a better understanding of why she would want to divorce her husband after so many years, and allows the readers to sympathize with her a lot more.

Additionally, these news stories are also helping Melinda French Gates to put a larger distance between herself and Bill Gates, as well as his company, and their shared philanthropic foundation ahead of the divorce proceedings.

Although in their statements both parties mentioned they would still be jointly working together on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, all the stories are still putting distance between the two. Nevertheless, the news stories did some damage to Bill Gates’ reputation, which can be further damaged should anything else surface.

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