A representative for the Microsoft billionaire confirmed on Tuesday 18 July that the couple is not engaged and the ring in question has belonged to Hurd “for decades”. “Our office can confirm that the ring Mrs Hurd was seen wearing has belonged to her for decades,” the spokesperson told People.
Paula Hurd – the 61-year-old widow of Mark Hurd, the late businessman who died in 2019 – was seen sporting the diamond ring in New York City on Monday, in photos obtained by TMZ. Her late husband, with who she shares two daughters, was the CEO of software company Oracle and a former Hewlett-Packard executive.
The engagement speculation came nearly two years after the Microsoft co-founder and his ex-wife Melinda French Gates finalised their divorce in August 2021. The former couple were married for 27 years.
According to hurd-bill-gates/” data-ylk=”slk:People;elm:context_link;itc:0″ class=”link “>People, the 67-year-old entrepreneur confirmed he was dating Paula Hurd in February this year. A source told the outlet that their relationship is “widely known” but his girlfriend had “yet to meet” Gates’ three children: daughters Jennifer, 27, and Phoebe, 20, and son Rory, 23.
Gates and Hurd were seen sitting next to one another at multiple sporting events, including the Laver Cup in London in September 2022 and the Australian Open in January 2023, before they took their romance public.
In May 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates announced they were separating after 27 years of marriage. They finalised their divorce in August 2021. In addition to welcoming three children throughout their decades-long marriage, they continue to run their private charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“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,” their joint statement read. “We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Following the divorce announcement, Gates reportedly admitted to having an affair with a female Microsoft employee in 2000. A spokesperson for the billionaire acknowledged that the affair took place and that it “ended amicably”.
The former couple have since given insight into their current relationship status after separating. In an interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, Melinda revealed their divorce came once their marriage got to a point in which she couldn’t “trust what we had”.
Her admission came in response to a question from King about the billionaire’s admitted infidelity, to which she said: “I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that.”
“It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened,” she added. “There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realised it just wasn’t healthy and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
After her wide-ranging interview with Gayle King, Bill Gates said he will “always be sorry for the pain” he caused his family.
The Independent has contacted a representative for Bill Gates for comment.
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