Bill and Melinda Gates had a previously undisclosed meeting with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in New York City — and the visit was so uncomfortable, Melinda Gates warned her husband not to have anything to do with the financier again, according to the New York Post.
The Microsoft co-founder and his wife — who announced their divorce this week — visited Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in September 2013, according to the Daily Beast, citing sources who said Melinda was “furious” after the meeting.
The meeting came on the same day the philanthropic couple accepted the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award at the Pierre Hotel and were photographed with then-Mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg, according to the outlet.
Friends of the couple told the Daily Beast that Melinda is still haunted by the encounter with Epstein, who had been accused for years of molesting underage girls and killed himself in 2019 while locked up in Manhattan on sex-trafficking charges.
But it is unclear whether Melinda was appalled by Epstein’s prior conviction or just didn’t like his personality.
“He just was an obnoxious guy. He almost made a point of having bad manners, not paying attention at dinner,” a person told the Daily Beast. “I could see how anybody, even without suspicions, would not want to be around him.”
The outlet reported that ties between Gates and Epstein were allegedly much deeper than the tech titan had admitted — and cited a New York Times report that said the two men met several times beginning in 2011, three years after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl in Florida.
Two Gates associates acted as intermediaries between the two, according to the Times, which identified them as biotech investor Boris Nikolic, a former Gates Adviser who was named as a backup executor in Epstein’s last will and testament, and Melanie Walker, who worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and served as Epstein’s science Adviser.
A person close to Walker told the Daily Beast she did not attend the meeting or help set up any meetings between the two men. Nikolic did not return the outlet’s requests for comment.
A rep for Bill and Melinda Gates also did not respond to requests for comment by the Daily Beast.
Two prominent researchers are quitting MIT’s Media Lab over revelations that the famed technology research hub and its director took money from Jeffrey Epstein after he’d served time for sex offences involving girls and young women.
According to the Times, Gates had met with Epstein in 2011 at his Manhattan home, with the disgraced financier’s former girlfriend Eva Andersson-Dubin and her daughter in attendance.
Gates visited Epstein several times from 2011 to 2013, according to the Times, which reported that Epstein had tried pitching a new charitable fund to JPMorgan and to the Gates foundation.
In 2013, the Microsoft multibillionaire also flew on Epstein’s so-called “Lolita Express” private jet from New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida, according to flight records reviewed by the Times.
“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” Gates said in September 2019, according to the Daily Beast.
“I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that. There were people around him who were saying, ‘Hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people,’” he said.
“Every meeting where I was with him were meetings with men. I was never at any parties or anything like that. He never donated any money to anything that I know about,” Gates added.
A Gates spokeswoman told the Times that he was not aware the plane was owned by Epstein.
A technology associate who has attended the same events as Epstein expressed surprise that Gates had considered cultivating philanthropic connections with the late paedophile.
“I can’t make the claim that so many are claiming,” the person told the Daily Beast, referring to people in Epstein’s orbit who’ve claimed to have had no suspicions of Epstein’s abuse.
“If you ask Bill Gates, he’ll say, ‘Oh I had absolutely no idea he wasn’t up to anything of the highest moral character.’ But I seriously doubted Epstein’s moral character,” the source told the outlet on condition of anonymity.
“The people around him,” the source added, referring to Epstein, “had a varying spectrum of what they knew and what they didn’t know and how they rationalised it.”
The person said “a lot of people were uncomfortable with Epstein, completely independent of his” sexual misconduct.
— With the New York Post