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.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Keith Griffith