Microsoft female staffers 'groped & spanked' by co-workers, report reveals after Bill Gates ‘affair’ exposed
MICROSOFT female staffers were “groped and spanked,” a new report claims, as founder Bill Gates's own alleged affair with an employee is revealed.
Microsoft was hit with a discrimination lawsuit in 2015 in which women at the company claimed they were "ignored, abused, or degraded."
It also alleged that male bosses ran a “good ol' boy culture” where “abuse and toxic behavior” was accepted.
The lawsuit was public but newly unearthed internal complaints published by DailyMail.com reveal the extent of the allegations and the shocking claims made by female staff.
The allegations ranged from inappropriate touching to one female intern claiming she was raped by a male intern.
It also includes employees allegedly being called “p***y” and “c***s” and former chief executive Steve Ballmer being branded “our limp d***ed CEO.”
In one of the complaints, a man was accused of groping four different women in a single night at a work function.
Daily Mail reports that he was found to have “poor interpersonal awareness” but did not breach anti-harassment rules after a company review of the complaints.
Court documents revealed that employee log complaints said that male employees got away with their treatment of women at the company as the “culture accepts and tolerates abuse and toxic behavior, especially towards females.”
The lawsuit was dismissed last November after a judge ruled that it was not a class action matter.
It claimed that “flagrant and repeated incidents of sexual misconduct toward women at Microsoft reflects the corporate culture in which women are undervalued and underpaid.”
The suit added that Microsoft had a “policy, pattern and practice of sex discrimination against female employees.”
The first plaintiff in the suit was Katherine Moussouris.
She was a computer researcher with Microsoft from 2007 until 2014.
“It was a culture of testing women poorly with impunity and I think these revelations (about Gates) have shown that to the world,” she told DailyMail.com
“Not only did he choose his wife from his employees he chose to target several other women to fulfill himself with no consequences.
“It felt like this culture flowed from the top and it was a culture of paying lip service to diversity and inclusion and not really supporting women in sexual assault claims or their career progression.”
She was later joined by two other female employees, Holly Muenchow and Dana Piermarini.
They claimed that 238 complaints were filed to Microsoft’s HR Department by women between 2010 and 2016.
They alleged that 108 of the complaints were about sexual harassment and 118 about gender discrimination.
Only one of the gender discrimination allegations was proven.
According to the employee complaint log, one woman allegedly claimed that a male colleague touched her inappropriately and repeatedly in 2012 during work events.
She said he made “unprovoked comments about her boyfriend's penis size.”
Yet he told ERIT, the internal Microsoft interrogation team, that she was “very flirty" and had “crossed the line first.”
The same man was reported by a second woman for lewd comments about her body.
The most serious of the complaints involved three alleged rapes and sexual assaults.
A male intern was reportedly offered a full-time job at Microsoft despite a female co-worker accusing him of rape, according to the complaints.
She allegedly threatened to file a restraining order against him but was reportedly told that she would be removed from the team if she did so.
One woman claimed that a manager “grabbed her buttocks in an unwelcome manner in front of the group.”
Yet another woman claimed she received repeated suggestive messages from a male coworker.
When she tried to rebuff him, he allegedly messaged her: “Don't make me come over there and spank you.”
After telling him she wouldn’t, the woman claimed he replied: "Good because then you will enjoy it and you will start misbehaving all the time. I can help but you have to do your part."
Moussouris and the other plaintiffs appealed the decision after the suit was thrown out last year.
She said she has now stopped trying to fight the case.
The reports on the internal complaints come after reports that Gates was “forced to quit the Microsoft board after an affair with a female staffer" and “asked employees out while he was married.”
Board members are said to have carried out an investigation into the billionaire’s romantic relationship with a Microsoft engineer in late 2019 after she claimed in a letter she had a sexual relationship with Gates for a number of years.
The relationship was deemed by the board to be “inappropriate,” people familiar with events told The Wall Street Journal.
It has also been claimed Gates “pursued” several women in his office after he wed now-estranged wife Melinda in 1994, according to a New York Times report.
The paper details two alleged instances where the tech mogul clumsily asked out women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
While the Microsoft probe was being carried out, some board members decided it would not be suitable for Gates to sit as a director at the company he had founded and led for decades.
Gates resigned before the board’s investigation was completed, a source told the paper.
A spokeswoman for Gates said: “There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.”
She added his “decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter. In fact, he had expressed an interest in spending more time on his philanthropy starting several years earlier.”
Earlier this month Gates and his wife Melinda announced they were ending their marriage after 27 years.
A joint statement posted on Twitter said: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
In a divorce petition, Melinda Gates said their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
Divorce papers, filed on May 3, say the couple had agreed to a separation contract to divide their assets – a fortune estimated by Forbes to be around $130billion.
It was revealed last week Melinda had been consulting with lawyers at various firms since at least 2019 for a way to unwind the marriage.
No reason has been given for the split.
Gates’ involvement with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been speculated as a cause of the split, according to media reports.
A spokeswoman for Gates said in 2019 he had met with Epstein for philanthropic reasons but regretted doing so.
Some board members also asked about Gates’ dealings with Epstein, according to one source.
Board members were told the relationship was solely focused on philanthropy, according to the source.
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