With the implosion of Bill and Melinda Gates’s $130 billion marriage, speculation is running rampant that Gates Foundation interpreter Zhe ‘Shelly’ Wang may have played a role in the dissolution of the 27-year relationship.
Wang, 36, was targeted by Chinese social media sleuths who claim she has been involved in an affair with the 65-year-old Microsoft founder. She has been photographed often with Gates in the capacity of his translator at functions since beginning her freelance position with the foundation in 2015.
The unmarried Seattle translator simultaneously worked for both the Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management while interpreting for Gates. Prior to joining the organization, she was employed as a Delta flight attendant and multilingual translator at TED conference events.
Friends spoke out to defend her after reports of Melinda Gates retreating to a $132,000-a-night private island to avoid media scrutiny added fuel to the rumor mill that Wang was the third party in the marriage.
— 🌎 Sarwar 🌐 (@ferozwala) May 5, 2021
“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,” said friend Li Donglei in a blog post. “I think it is entirely my instinct that Wang Zhe can’t do this kind of thing.”
Internet speculation grew so out of control, Wang took to Chinese social media platform Weibo to deny the accusations on Wednesday. “I originally thought [the gossip] would be self-defeating from groundless sources, but I didn’t expect it to get more crazy,’ she wrote. “Thank you for your concern over the past 24 hours through private messages, and friends who helped me dispel rumors.”
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