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Melinda French Gates addresses engagement after stepping out with huge diamond ring following Bill Gates split

The philanthropist started dating Jon Du Pre following her divorce from the Microsoft founder

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
22 April 2024
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Melinda French Gates raised eyebrows over the weekend, as she was pictured landing in New York City with quite the statement-making ring on that finger.

The philanthropist – who finalized her divorce from Bill Gates in 2021 after almost 30 years of marriage, and started dating reporter Jon Du Pre shortly afterwards – sparked engagement rumors when she was photographed wearing a massive diamond ring while exiting a helicopter in the city.

However, don't expect to see her walking down the aisle anytime soon, nor any outings from the couple, or as it turns out, now former couple.

Is Melinda Gates engaged?

In a statement to HELLO! in response to the photos, a spokesperson for Melinda, 59, maintained that not only are she and the former Fox News correspondent not engaged, but they are no longer dating either.

In the photos, she's seen with a smile on her face, wearing a white button-down blouse layered under a knit, mesh cardigan, paired with pink Loewe sneakers and a matching Chanel tote bag.

Melinda Gates is all smiles as she flashes a large ring while arriving to a heliport in New York City. Gates was met on the helipad by an assistant who helped with her bags. Melinda carried a pink Chanel bag and wore a mesh jacket, white blouse, black trousers, and Loewe sneakers, April 20, 2024© KGC Photo Agency LLP
Melinda was spotted with the statement-making jewelry on April 20

Who was Melinda Gates dating?

Though no longer together, Melinda and Jon were first revealed to be dating in November of 2022, at which point they had reportedly been seeing each other for a few months.

MORE: Bill and Melinda Gates' youngest daughter Phoebe dazzles in rhinestone dress for star-studded night out

While they kept their romance largely out of the spotlight, in their time together, they made some public appearances, including to a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics in April of 2022.

Photo shared by Jon Du Pre, Melinda French Gates' ex-boyfriend, on Instagram in 2021© Instagram
Photo shared by Jon on Instagram in 2021

Who is Bill Gates dating?

The Microsoft founder, 68, was confirmed to be dating Paula Hurd (née Kalupa), 60, in February of 2023, after they were spotted on various outings together, including at the Australian Open the month prior, and the Laver Cup in September of 2022.

MORE: Bill Gates and ex-wife Melinda French reunite as daughter Jennifer celebrates graduation following birth of baby girl – see photos

Bill Gates and Paula Hurd attend the 2024 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on April 13, 2024 in Los Angeles, California© Getty
The couple made their red carpet debut on April 13

Paula, who worked in the tech industry for decades, including at software company NCR (National Cash Register), is the widow of late Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, who passed away aged 62 in 2019, reportedly after a battle with cancer.

Bill and Paula made their official red carpet debut earlier this month, when they stepped out hand-in-hand for the Breakthrough Prize Ceremony.

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