Chinese interpreter, 36, who works for Bill and Melina Gates Foundation denies vicious rumors that she is the reason for the couple’s $130B split
- Zhe ‘Shelly’ Wang was forced to confront online rumors of an affair with Gates
- Chinese social media ran wild with the rumors on learning she worked with him
- Wang, 36, is a professional interpreter living in Seattle and unmarried
- In a Weibo post on Wednesday, she slammed the ‘unfounded rumors’ as ‘crazy’
- Friends came to her defense, saying they can’t imagine her conducting an affair
- It is unclear what started the rumor, which spread like wildfire on Chinese Weibo
Zhe ‘Shelly’ Wang, 36, has denied wild rumors that she is behind Bill Gates’ divorce
A Chinese interpreter who has done work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has come forward to deny wild online rumors that she was responsible for alienating the Microsoft founder’s affections for his wife of 27 years.
Zhe ‘Shelly’ Wang, 36, spoke out in a post on Weibo, the Chinese social media site, on Wednesday, slamming the ‘unfounded rumors’ that she had conducted an affair with Bill Gates.
‘I originally thought [the rumor] would be self-defeating from groundless sources, but I didn’t expect it to get more crazy,’ she wrote in Mandarin. ‘Thank you for your concern over the past 24 hours through private messages, and friends who helped me dispel rumors.’
Wang, who lives in Seattle and is unmarried, is an accomplished professional translator who has done work for the Yale School of Management and Harvard Business School, as well as the Gates Foundation.
Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce on Monday, but couple’s the lack of explanation for the split has led to rampant speculation
It is unclear what led to Wang being a target of rumors, other than photos she has posted online of her translation engagements for the Gates Foundation
Wang wrote on Weibo: ‘I originally thought it would be self-defeating from groundless sources, but I didn’t expect it to get more crazy. How many books can you read during the May 1st holiday? Why waste time on unfounded rumors. Thank you for your concern over the past 24 hours through private messages, and friends who helped me dispel rumors. I hope that this incident will not ruin the good mood of the holiday. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Li Donglei for his article. No melon, don’t cue.’
Bill Gates, who is worth $130 billion, announced the breakup in a joint statement with Melinda on Monday — but couple’s the lack of explanation for the split has led to rampant speculation.
It is unclear what led to Wang being a target of rumors, other than photos she has posted online of her translation engagements for the Gates Foundation, but the innuendo spread like wildfire on Chinese social media.
Li Donglei, who is friends with Wang, was shocked by the rumors and spoke out defending her in a blog post.
‘She is a former colleague of mine, a very clean girl, and a person I admire. I don’t believe she would get involved in other people’s marriages,’ wrote Li.
‘I think it is entirely my instinct that Wang Zhe can’t do this kind of thing,’ he added.
According to Li, Wang grew up in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou, and later immigrated to the United States.
From 2006 to 2008, she owned a restaurant in Provo, Utah, the Four Seasons Hot Pot & Dumplings, according to her LinkedIn profile which has since been deleted.
Proficient in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, Wang had done translation work for the Gates Foundation, TED conferences, and the Yale School of Management
She has also worked as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, often working the route between the US and Shanghai
‘I think it is entirely my instinct that Wang Zhe can’t do this kind of thing,’ one friend said of the online rumors that Wang was behind the breakup
Wang attended Brigham Young University and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Managerial Economics there in 2007.
Proficient in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English, she went on to study Conference Interpretation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and later did work as an interpreter for the institute in September 2012.
At the Monterey Institute, she worked on several TED Conference events, and later went on to work for TED Conferences itself, overseeing a team of interpreters.
Her work for the Gates Foundation appears to have been in a freelance capacity.
In addition to her career as an interpreter, Wang also worked as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, her social media posts show.
Before the global pandemic, she most worked on flights between the U.S. and Shanghai.
According to her friend Li, Wang challenged herself even further by training to obtain her pilot’s license two years ago, and succeeded in qualifying.
Wang challenged herself by training to obtain her pilot’s license two years ago, and succeeded in qualifying, her friend said
‘She is a former colleague of mine, a very clean girl, and a person I admire. I don’t believe she would get involved in other people’s marriages,’ a friend said of Wang
‘I guess some people made up gossip about “Gates cheating with a Chinese beauty” just because they saw Wang Zhe’s translation work photos at the Gates Foundation and saw that she was a Chinese beauty and a single woman,’ wrote Li in his blog post.
‘They don’t care about the slander of an innocent girl and her family by such rumors,’ he added.
Li could not be reached for comment by DailyMail.com on Wednesday.
What specifically prompted Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce remains unclear. Melinda has previously described Bill’s hesitancy over getting married in the early 1990s, and he has described an unusual ‘arrangement’ that saw him spend a weekend with his ex-girlfriend once a year.
In her petition for divorce, Melinda says spousal support is ‘not needed’ – meaning she won’t seek regular payments from Bill but take a settlement which is likely to be privately negotiated, if it hasn’t already been decided upon.
Lawyers are shocked there was no prenup, given Bill had already made his first billion dollars at the age of 31 in 1987 – the same year he met Melinda. Now, their myriad assets are up for grabs.
On the day the divorce was announced, Bill transferred $1.8billion in stock to his wife Melinda in what appears to be the first of many public transactions the pair will make as they start to divide up their extraordinary assets.
What specifically prompted Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce remains unclear. Melinda has previously described Bill’s hesitancy over getting married in the early 1990s
The Microsoft founder is the fourth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $130billion. He and Melinda have been married for 27 years and have three adult children, but announced in a joint statement on Monday they were parting ways.
She said in court filings that the marriage was ‘irretrievably broken’.
The pair’s divorce settlement hasn’t been finalized in court but they have agreed on a some of the terms of their separation. It’s likely that the pair will settle privately, and that the only glimpses into their division of assets will come from SEC filings about how many shares they own in public companies.
One such filing on Monday revealed that Bill gave Melinda more than 14million shares of the Canadian National Railway Company worth $1.5billion. He also gave her 2.9 million shares of AutoNation.
The shares were transferred from Cascade Investment LLC, an investment company controlled by Gates. Bill has hired 97-year-old billionaire lawyer Charlie T Munger to represent him in the divorce.
He knew Munger from their time at Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s holding company, where Bill served on the board for 16 years and where Munger remains Vice Chairman.
Munger’s expertise is not in family law but in business.
Melinda has also hired a powerhouse batch of attorneys to represent her.
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