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How Bill Gates spent long weekends at the beach alone with his venture capitalist ex-girlfriend--

• https://www.dailymail.co.uk KAYLA BRANTLEY

Bill Gates, 65, announced on Twitter on Monday that he and his 56-year-old wife Melinda are divorcing

The couple have had a decades-long agreement that Bill could vacation for a long weekend at the beach every year with his venture capitalist ex-girlfriend

Bill dated venture capitalist Ann Winblad, 70, in the 80s but broke up in 1987, the same year he met future wife Melinda

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'

The former lovers kept their vacation tradition alive, with Bill spending a weekend with Ann at her beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Bill and Melinda's divorce will be the largest division of assets since Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie split in mid 2019

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

Ann is married to San Francisco private investigator Edward Alex Kline, 63


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