According to The Wall Street Journal, two former Microsoft executives, and a spokesperson for Microsoft, Bill Gates was once told to stop sending “inappropriate” emails to an unnamed female employee at the company. While the mid-level employee never filed a complaint and the emails were not overtly sexual, according to the report, Gates was "flirtatious" in the messages and "propositioned" the female employee.

A spokesperson for Gates has called the claims false.

Microsoft was aware of the emails in 2007, months before Gates was going to retire from working at the company full time. Brad Smith, the company’s former top lawyer, and Lisa Brummel, a former senior human resources executive, met with Gates and told him the emails needed to stop. He is said to have agreed.

Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw told the Journal that Gates offered to meet the employee outside of work and off-campus.

“While flirtatious, they were not overtly sexual, but were deemed to be inappropriate,” Shaw said.

Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Gates, said these are “recycled rumors,” adding, “These claims are false ... from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases, have significant conflicts of interest.”

At the time the emails were discovered, the Journal reports Microsoft’s board met and determined that no further action was needed since there was never any physical touch involved. However, this is hardly the first time that allegations against Gates have surfaced.

In late 2019, a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter having had an affair with Gates in 2000 while he was married to Melinda Gates. The couple announced their split in May and finalized their divorce this summer.