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Inside Bill Gates' 1,440 sq ft hideaway with ex Ann Winblad

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 06/05/2021 Ariel Zilber and Kayla Brantley For Dailymail.com
Bill Gates, Ann Winblad are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

The North Carolina beach house where Bill Gates spent a weekend a year with venture capitalist ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad while married to soon-to-be-ex-wife Melinda Gates is a modest three-story oceanfront home that is available for a holiday rental.

The vacation house in Corolla, just north of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a four-bedroom, two-bathroom that has its own gazebo overlooking the ocean as well as a private pathway to the beach.

The home, known as Castle Sween, is billed on Airbnb as a 'royal retreat for beach lovers' - starting at $600 per night.

Bill's relationship with Winblad was thrust into the spotlight this week after he and his wife Melinda announced they are getting a divorce after 27 years and three children together. 

Bill, 65, and Winblad, 70, dated in the 80s but broke up in 1987, the same year he met Melinda. After Bill and Melinda married, they came to an agreement that he could take yearly vacations with Winblad. 

For decades the Microsoft boss would travel to his former girlfriend's home overlooking the Atlantic, where they spent their time riding dune buggies, hang-gliding and taking walks on the beach.  

The Airbnb listing for the home offers an inside look at the little slice of paradise they shared.  

a train is parked on the side of a building: The image above shows the oceanfront, three-story home in Corolla, North Carolina, just north of the Outer Banks, where Bill Gates would spend a weekend per year with his ex-girlfriend, venture capitalist Ann Winblad

The image above shows the oceanfront, three-story home in Corolla, North Carolina, just north of the Outer Banks, where Bill Gates would spend a weekend per year with his ex-girlfriend, venture capitalist Ann Winblad
© Provided by Daily Mail

'With a private walkway to the beach and a superb view of the Atlantic Ocean from a dune top deck gazebo, guests of this sandcastle can effortlessly dive into a true OBX (Outer Banks) coastal vacation as soon as they arrive,' the ad on Airbnb reads.

The 1,440-sq-ft home, which sits on an acre of land, is marketed as one where ‘visitors will be hard-pressed to leave the sunny and pristine Corolla shorelines or the on-site gazebo.’

It’s billed as a ‘shrine to oceanfront living’ with a ‘spacious and coastally-inspired interior.’

The second floor of the home has a main gathering area with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. There are also two bedrooms - one with a queen bed and the other with two sets of bunk beds.

a wooden bench sitting in front of a building: The image above shows lounging chairs on the patio where vacationers could get a view of the shoreline

The image above shows lounging chairs on the patio where vacationers could get a view of the shoreline
© Provided by Daily Mail

The top level also has two bedrooms in addition to a loft with a daybed.

The home includes other amenities like a washer/dryer, heating and air conditioning, cable television, an oven, dishes and silverware, a barbecue grill, a patio, and free parking.

On the web site Seaside Vacations, the home is booked solid through the summer.

Renting the beach house for a week in late August would set a family back $3,505.

According to the New York Post, Winblad is listed in property records as a trustee of the home, which has been used as a rental on and off since 2016. It was built in 1982.  

a bedroom with a large bed in a room: The image above shows part of the spacious common room on the home's second level

The image above shows part of the spacious common room on the home's second level
© Provided by Daily Mail

Bill and Melinda's odd arrangement allowing for him to visit Winblad each year has raised eyebrows now that one of the richest couples in the world are going their separate ways after 27 years together and building a $130billion fortune.   

Bill and Winblad's relationship came to an end in the late 80s - when she was reportedly more ready for marriage than he w was as he worked day and night to build his billion-dollar Microsoft empire.

However, the pair maintained a friendship and in a 1997 piece in TIME Magazine, Bill said, 'When I was off on my own thinking about marrying Melinda, I called Ann and asked for her approval.'

She approved and the former lovers - with Melinda's blessing - kept their yearly vacation alive.  

Bill Gates, Melinda Gates are posing for a picture: Bill and Melinda Gates announced their split after 27 years of marriage on Monday © Provided by Daily Mail Bill and Melinda Gates announced their split after 27 years of marriage on Monday graphical user interface, text, application: The 65-year-old Microsoft founder and his 56-year-old wife announced the split on Twitter. They both posted the same joint statement © Provided by Daily Mail The 65-year-old Microsoft founder and his 56-year-old wife announced the split on Twitter. They both posted the same joint statement

'We can play putt-putt while discussing biotechnology,' Bill said in the 1997 interview. 

a woman talking on a cell phone: Ann was reportedly more ready for marriage than Bill as he worked day and night to build his billion-dollar Microsoft empire © Provided by Daily Mail Ann was reportedly more ready for marriage than Bill as he worked day and night to build his billion-dollar Microsoft empire

Ann said, 'We share our thoughts about the world and ourselves. And we 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.' 

Bill and Ann first met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference. 

While in different cities, they began going on 'virtual dates' by going to see the same movie at the same time and talking about it on their cell phones. She even convinced him to stop eating meat for a short time. 

They broke up three years later, but in the TIME Magazine piece, Ann was quoted telling Bill that Melinda 'would be a good match for him because she had intellectual stamina.'

The pair even got into business together and in 1999 Bill partnered with Ann on Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.  

Ann is married to San Francisco private investigator Edward Alex Kline, 63. Kline is the younger brother of actor Kevin Kline.

Bill and Melinda both posted the same joint statement about their divorce on Twitter Monday, which read: 'After a great deal of thought and a lot of work, we have made the decision to end our marriage. 

'Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. 

'We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue to work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.' 

In papers filed in Washington state, Melinda, 56, described their relationship as 'irretrievably broken' 

a woman sitting on the floor: Bill and Ann first met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference. While in different cities, they began going on 'virtual dates' by going to see the same movie at the same time and talking about it on their cell phones. She even convinced him to stop eating meat. Ann is pictured in 1984

Bill and Ann first met in 1984 at a Ben Rosen-Esther Dyson computer conference. While in different cities, they began going on 'virtual dates' by going to see the same movie at the same time and talking about it on their cell phones. She even convinced him to stop eating meat. Ann is pictured in 1984
© Provided by Daily Mail

The couple's eldest daughter, 25-year-old Jennifer Gates, has spoken publicly on social media about the 'challenging stretch' the family recently endured. Neither of their two other adult children have commented. 

Jennifer is the oldest of Bill and Melinda's three children, followed by 21-year-old son Rory and 18-year-old daughter Phoebe. 

No other details of why the pair are splitting have been given but the court papers reveal the pair did not have a prenuptial agreement in place when they married in 1994 - putting their $130billion fortune at the center of the split. 

In the divorce petition, which was filed in Superior Court of Washington - King County on Monday, Melinda asked the judge to dissolved the marriage 'on the date stated in our separation contract'. The separation contract was not included in the filing so that date is unclear.   

Melinda says in the petition that 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. 

While the couple have no prenup, it appears a lot of the work of dividing up their estate - which includes properties in five states, a private jet, an astonishing art collection and a fleet of luxury cars - has already been done, as their divorce papers repeatedly refer to a 'separation contract' which both have signed. 

The contract itself has not been made public. 

table: In a divorce petition filed in Washington state and obtained by DailyMail.com showed Melinda filed for divorce from Bill on Monday, describing their marriage as 'irretrievably broken'

In a divorce petition filed in Washington state and obtained by DailyMail.com showed Melinda filed for divorce from Bill on Monday, describing their marriage as 'irretrievably broken'
© Provided by Daily Mail

The announcement comes less than two weeks after they made their last public appearance, virtually, at a COVID event for healthcare workers. 

Bill was already a billionaire he married Melinda in the early 1990s. 

He founded Microsoft in 1975 and became the world's youngest billionaire in 1987 at the age of 31. He also met Melinda that year when she was working at the company where he served as CEO. 

They married six years later but he deliberated over it and, according to previous interviews given by Melinda, even made a list of pros and cons for marriage on a whiteboard.  

In 2000 they founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - the most influential private foundation in the worth with an endowment work nearly $50billion.  

Over the last year the foundation has focused on the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. 

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 

a woman smiling for the camera: Zhe 'Shelly' Wang, 36, has denied wild rumors that she is behind Bill Gates' divorce © Provided by Daily Mail 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 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.

a person wearing a suit and tie sitting in a chair: 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 © Provided by Daily Mail 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 graphical user interface, text, application: 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.' © Provided by Daily Mail 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.'

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.   

As of December, the foundation had committed a total of $1.75billion to the global pandemic response. 

In their statement on Monday, the Gates vowed to continue that work together after their split. 

The reason behind their split after over a quarter-century remains a mystery but Melinda has previously suggested her husband had trouble balancing work and family.

In 2019, shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary, Melinda gave a rare interview to The Sunday Times in which she revealed how Bill struggled to balance work with family. 

'We’ve just gotten to a point in life where Bill and I can both laugh about more things. 

'And, believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought, "Can I do this?"' she said. 

Jennifer Gates, Melinda Gates posing for a photo: The couple are pictured with their three kids in a 2019 family photo. The kids  - Jennifer (center), Rory (right) and Phoebe (left) are now aged 25, 21 and 18

The couple are pictured with their three kids in a 2019 family photo. The kids  - Jennifer (center), Rory (right) and Phoebe (left) are now aged 25, 21 and 18
© Provided by Daily Mail

In her memoir published that same year Melinda wrote about her private struggles as the wife of a public icon and stay-at-home mom with three kids. 

Melinda described the meeting Bill in her 2019 biography The Moment of Lift, writing: 'I showed up late, and all the tables were filled except one, which still had two empty chairs side by side. I sat in one of them. A few minutes later, Bill arrived and sat in the other.'

After a year of dating, Bill made a list of the pros and cons of getting married.  

'You know, we cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married,' Bill said in a Netflix documentary about his life.

Their divorce will be the largest division of assets since Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie split in mid 2019.

The Gateses are worth an estimated $130 billion, making them the fourth-richest people in the world, behind Bezos, Elon Musk, and French luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault. 

When the Bezos divorce was finalized in 2019, Jeff kept 75 percent of their joint stake in Amazon - then worth $144billion - leaving MacKenzie with a quarter worth $35.8billion.

It appears that Bill and Melinda have already done a lot of the work of dividing up their estate, as their divorce papers repeatedly refer to a 'separation contract' which both have signed. 

The Gates empire includes homes in five states; a fleet of cars including a rare $2 million Porsche; an art collection that includes a $30 million book of writings and sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci; and a series of private jets.

Gates is also the biggest private owner of farmland in the United States, with 242,000 acres across 18 different states.  

Bill and Melinda have already pledged to give most of their fortune away before they die. Their three children will receive a reported $10 million each - a tiny fraction of their parents' fortune.

Yet, despite The Giving Pledge, they retain plenty of assets which will need to be split between them.

Xanadu 2.0 Mansion, Washington 

The Gates family owns a string of luxury mansions across the US, in Washington, Florida, California and Wyoming.

Prime among them is their main family home in Washington, known as Xanadu 2.0.

The 66,000-square-foot mansion overlooks Lake Washington in Medina, nine miles out of downtown Seattle - where The Gates Foundation has its headquarters.  

Gates purchased the lot in 1988 for $2 million, but spent seven years building his dream home - at a cost of $63 million. 

The construction along the picturesque lake angered some neighbors, The Washington Post reported at the time - so Gates responded with free car washes, and made his construction crew available to help with little projects at nearby homes.

The home is now worth an estimated $125 million. 

'I wanted craftsmanship but nothing ostentatious,' Gates wrote in his book, The Road Ahead, which was written from the guest house, while the main house was being constructed. 

'I wanted a house that would accommodate sophisticated, changing technology but in an unobtrusive way that made it clear that technology was the servant, not the master.'  

a view of a city: The Gates family home contains a 30-car garage and 20-room main living area

The Gates family home contains a 30-car garage and 20-room main living area
© Provided by Daily Mail

The home has an indoor-outdoor pool with an underwater music system and fossil designs on the floor, plus an ancient fossil imprint of a palm frond behind the diving board.

In the five-acre plot, there is an artificial stream stocked with salmon and cut-throat trout, and a beach with sand imported, according to some, from the Caribbean. 

Inside the seven bedroom mansion, with a reported 18 bathrooms, is an art deco home cinema with seating for 20, and a 1,000-square-foot dining room with seating for 24.

For larger gatherings, the 2,300 square-foot reception hall can seat 150 people for dinner, or 200 for a cocktail party. 

The 2,100-square-foot library includes two secret pivoting bookcases, one of which contains a bar.

A special nook has been constructed to display one of Gates's most prized possessions - a scientific notebook kept by Leonardo da Vinci in the early 1500s, called the Codex. Gates bought it at auction in 1994 for $30 million. 

On the ceiling is engraved a quote from The Great Gatsby: 'He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.'

There are four rare copies of the book in his library, The Washington Post reported. 

Guests at the property, according to Seattle Curbed, are giving a pin to wear on arrival, with sensors. 

Depending on their preferences, the temperature, music and lighting will change in the house. 

Each room comes with its own touchpad to control the room environment. 

'I have a nice house,' said Gates, in a February 2019 'Ask Me Anything' forum on Reddit. 

'It includes a trampoline room which seems kind of over the top, but my kids love using it to work off their excess energy. 

'I am not sure how guilty I should feel about being in a great house.' 

Other mansions 

Xanadu 2.0 is not the only great house owned by Gates.

They also own a $59 million ranch in Wellington, Florida - an area known for its equestrianism, which will appeal to his eldest daughter Jennifer, a talented horsewoman.

a person riding a horse jumping over an obstacle: Jennifer Gates is seen competing at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington in 2009 © Provided by Daily Mail Jennifer Gates is seen competing at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington in 2009 Jennifer Gates on Pumped Up Kicks competes at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France in 2017 © Provided by Daily Mail Jennifer Gates on Pumped Up Kicks competes at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France in 2017

Bill Gates could drop from #4 to #17 on billionaires index if he splits fortune 50/50 with Melinda 

Bill Gates currently holds the title of fourth-richest person in the world with a net worth of $124billion, per Forbes. But if he were to split his fortune in half with Melinda in their divorce, he would drop to 17.  

1. Jeff Bezos - $177B

2. Elon Musk - $151B

3. Bernard Arnault & family - $150B

4. Bill Gates - $124B

5.Mark Zuckerberg - $97B

6. Warren Buffett - $96B

7. Larry Ellison - $93B

8. Larry Page - $91.5B

9. Sergey Brin - $89B

10. Mukesh Ambani - $84.5B 

...  

16. Carlos Slim Helu & family - $62.8B

17. Alice Walton - $61.8B 

Wellington, described by The Real Deal as the winter equestrian capital of the world, is the seasonal playground for the families of a number of billionaires – Michael Bloomberg, the late Steve Jobs, the Campbell's Soup family, and celebrities whose children compete in horse riding competitions.

The family also own the Irma Lake Lodge, a $9 million, 492-acre Wyoming ranch which was originally settled by Buffalo Bill in 1902 and named after his oldest daughter. 

Gates bought the property in 2009.

According to the realtor's description, obtained by Insider: 'The ranch lies adjacent to Shoshone National Forest and nearby Washakie Wilderness, which gives this property a backyard of over three million acres containing continuous wilderness and forest lands.'

In addition to the main 15,000-square-foot house with its five bedrooms and three bathrooms, there is a guesthouse, caretaker's house, dairy cabin, Buffalo Bill stable and a rustic hut on the island located in the middle of Irma Lake.

Perched on a knoll is Buffalo Bill's original three-room hunting cabin - not fit for habitation, and kept in its original state. 

The land is home to elk, moose, Mule deer, Bighorn sheep, bear, mountain lion, wolves, bobcats, wolverines and lynx. 

The couple also have two homes in California - the 228-acre Rancho Paseana, which he purchased for $18 million in September 2014 from diet queen Jenny Craig. 

It includes a racetrack, orchard, and five barns with space for 50 horses.

He bought another $43 million property in California near San Diego, closing the deal in April 2020.

The luxurious six-bedroom, four-bathroom, 5,800-square-foot home was sold by Madeleine Pickens, a former wife of the billionaire oil baron T. Boone Pickens.  

According to the listing details, obtained by The Real Deal, the house is well-known as a city landmark and is considered 'one of the most prominent coastal contemporary beach homes on the West Coast.'

It has 120 feet of private ocean frontage. 

a beach with a city in the background: Bill and Melinda Gates bought the massive San Diego beachfront estate in April 2020

Bill and Melinda Gates bought the massive San Diego beachfront estate in April 2020
© Provided by Daily Mail

FARMLAND 

In addition to his five homes, Gates has quietly built up a massive agriculture portfolio.

He is now the biggest private owner of farmland in the US, with 242,000 acres across 18 different states. 

The 65-year-old's largest holdings include 69,071 acres in Louisiana, 47,927 acres in Arkansas, 25,750 acres in Arizona, 20,588 acres in Nebraska and 16,097 in Washington state. 

But even with his big new agricultural holdings, Gates still doesn't rank in the Top 100 of private landowners overall in the U.S. - when considering owners of land of all types, not just agricultural. 

The title for largest landholdings overall goes to US businessman John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media, who owns 2.2million acres.   

It is unclear why Gates has invested in farmland so heavily, and details of the land are scarce, as revealed in The Land Report. 

The acquisitions are held directly, as well as through Gates' personal investment entity, Cascade Investments.

map: The tech billionaire has quietly bought up 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states - and 268,984 of multi-use land in 19 states in total, making him the biggest agricultural landowner in the US, though far short of the biggest overall landowner in the country

The tech billionaire has quietly bought up 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states - and 268,984 of multi-use land in 19 states in total, making him the biggest agricultural landowner in the US, though far short of the biggest overall landowner in the country
© Provided by Daily Mail

CARS

Bill Gates is known for his love of cars - his Seattle home has a garage with space for 30 vehicles.

He told Ellen DeGeneres in February 2018 that his biggest splurge after founding Microsoft was buying a Porsche 911 supercar, which he later sold.  

'That was an indulgence,' Gates told DeGeneres.

The car, which he bought when Microsoft was based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, wasn't just for show: Gates loved to put its speed to the test and race it in the desert. 

His partner Paul Allen once had to bail him out of jail after one particularly reckless ride. 

Gates is also the owner of a Porsche 930 Turbo, a Jaguar XJ6 and a Ferrari 348.

His most valuable car is believed to be an extremely rare Porsche 959 - only several hundred were ever made - that he had to wait 13 years for while its arrival was held up by customs into the U.S. It even required the passage of a special law, the Show or Display Rule, to allow its use in the country.

They will sell for up to $2 million at auction.

Gates' most recent purchase, he said in February 2020, was a Porsche Taycan - an electric car.

'I have to say it's a premium-priced car, but it is very, very cool,' Gates said, in a YouTube interview

'That's my first electric car, and I'm enjoying it a lot.' 

a car parked in front of a building: A Porsche 959, similar to that owned by Bill Gates, is seen in Britain © Provided by Daily Mail A Porsche 959, similar to that owned by Bill Gates, is seen in Britain a car parked in a parking lot: A Porsche Taycan Turbo S, of the kind owned by Bill Gates. He said the car was 'very cool' © Provided by Daily Mail A Porsche Taycan Turbo S, of the kind owned by Bill Gates. He said the car was 'very cool'

PRIVATE JETS

Gates in 2019 said that having a private jet was an indulgence, but one which made his life more efficient.

Gates famously plans his day in five-minute blocks, for maximum efficiency.

'I sometimes use a private jet,' Gates said in the 2019 Reddit chat. 

'It does help me do my foundation work but again it is a very privileged thing to have.' 

a airplane that is sitting on a runway at an airport: One of the Gulfstream G650 jets belonging to Bill Gates © Provided by Daily Mail One of the Gulfstream G650 jets belonging to Bill Gates

Gates is believed to own two $65 million Gulfstream G650ERs, two Bombardier Challenger 350s, a Cessna Seaplane and a collection of helicopters. 

In February, speaking to Fox News to promote his book How To Avoid a Climate Disaster, Gates was asked how he could justify the use of private jets with his eco-warrior stance. 

Gates appeared to suggest the question was 'absolutely right' but noted he takes steps to make up for his personal carbon footprint via his work. 

'I am offsetting my carbon emissions by buying clean aviation fuel and funding carbon capture and funding low cost housing projects to use electricity instead of natural gas and so I have been able to eliminate it and it was amazing to me how expensive that was, that cost to be green,' he said.

'We've got to drive that down.

'I felt like, if we have this idealistic generation and this wonderful goal, we need a plan, and that my experience could help contribute to that plan.'

ART 

Gates is also known for his art collection - most famously Leonardo da Vinci's Codex, which he bought in 1994 for $30 million, at auction at Christie's in New York.

The Codex takes pride of place in his Seattle library.

It is known as the Leicester Codex, as it was once owned by the Earl of Leicester.

text, letter: Gates is also known for his art collection - most famously Leonardo da Vinci's Codex, which he bought in 1994 for $30 million © Provided by Daily Mail Gates is also known for his art collection - most famously Leonardo da Vinci's Codex, which he bought in 1994 for $30 million

It is described as a notebook, with 36 leather-bound sheets, containing a mixture of Da Vinci's observations and theories on the properties of water, rocks, and fossils; air, and celestial light.

His art collection also includes an oil painting named Lost On The Grand Banks, by Winslow Homer, which he purchased at $36 million in 1998. 

He also owns a work entitled Polo Crowd, by George Bellows, which he bought for $28 million in 1999.

The Room of Flowers by Childe Hassam, for which Gates paid $20 million, hangs inside the library. 

Gates also owns William Merritt Chase's The Nursery, worth $10 million. 

calendar: Gates also owns a work entitled Polo Crowd, by George Bellows, which he bought for $28 million © Provided by Daily Mail Gates also owns a work entitled Polo Crowd, by George Bellows, which he bought for $28 million a small boat in a body of water: Bill Gates owns this oil painting 'Lost on the Grand Banks' by Winslow Homer, which he purchased at $36 million. © Provided by Daily Mail Bill Gates owns this oil painting 'Lost on the Grand Banks' by Winslow Homer, which he purchased at $36 million.  

Bill and Melinda Gates have signed a separation contract - but what is it? 

In their divorce filing, Bill and Melinda Gates make it clear that they have no prenuptial agreement - but the papers make repeated reference to a 'separation contract' which will divide up their estate.

A separation contract, or separation agreement, is a legally binding document drawn up by divorcing couples in advance of their split in which they agree how to split their lives - including child custody and access, debts and property.

It is governed by contract law, meaning that either party can sue the other for breach of contract if the agreement is broken.

Signing a separation contract allows a couple to divide their assets by mutual agreement, rather than having to go to court. 

For the average couple, this means saving money in lawyers' fees. For Bill and Melinda Gates, it avoids a lengthy, public process during which details about their private lives an assets may have been revealed. 

However, a separation agreement is not necessarily final and a judge may overrule it if they feel the contract is unfair to the children involved, unfair to one of the partners, or that one partner has not fully disclosed their assets or earnings to be divvied up.

Source: LawDepot 

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