The billion-dollar split saga continues!
Rumors have been swirling as to why Bill and Melinda Gates called it quits on their 27-year marriage and the latest buzz involves Bill’s ex Ann Winblad.
“He is close to her. Romance or not, when one spouse loves the company of another person outside of the marriage and perpetuates that friendship over many years, it can help destroy trust,” a source said. of Bill's relationship with the businesswoman.
Winblad is the co-founder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, a firm focused solely on software the company website states. According to an 1997 interview with Time, Gates and Winblad started dating in the 80’s after meeting at a computer software conference and before Gates laid his eyes on Melinda.
As OK! previously reported, the Microsoft founder and Winblad continued to hang out together during his marriage, per Melinda's approval.
"We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology," Gates said his outings with his ex.
“He could have treated Melinda better," the source added. "He’s not a saint, but there isn’t one thing that created the final split. It goes deeper than that."
The source also spoke on the lack of praise Melinda received for the work she contributed to the joint foundation she and her soon-to-be ex-husband share.
"He needed a better balance," they said. "He needed to let her speak and take the recognition she deserved on many foundation issues. He didn't realize he made those mistakes when he was making them."
The source added that before the breakup, the Gates' had issues that were "piling up."
"It’s many years of differing views of the world, the foundation, and of life in general," they said. They are older and each personally looked at life and asked, ‘Is there more out there than what I have?’” the source continued. “They’ve grown apart for a variety of reasons. She’s more interested in women’s issues and what and who they helped with the foundation. Bill was — and is — far more interested in the business side of his life.”
The Gates' decided to end their 27-year marriage in a joint statement via Twitter. "We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives."
The philanthropists share three children, Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21 and Phoebe,18.
PEOPLE was the first to report the source's information regarding Winblad and the Gates' marriage.