Earlier this week, Bill and Melinda Gates announced their plans to divorce after 27 years of marriage. Since news broke, more stories about the state of the couple’s relationship have emerged and the latest one involves the Microsoft inventor’s troubling friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, who died in his jail cell in August 2019, operated a sex trafficking ring that abused and exploited young girls with Epstein often “lending” these minors out to his wealthy, sometimes famous, friends. While Bill Gates has never been accused of any crime in relation to Epstein, sources close to the couple are now revealing that Gates formed a friendship with the disgraced financier, one his wife definitely didn’t approve of.
According to The Daily Beast, Melinda Gates was “furious” after she accompanied her husband to New York City where the pair had a meeting with Epstein in 2013. After the visit, Melinda reportedly relayed to friends how “uncomfortable” she was around Epstein and that she wanted “nothing to do with him” following the encounter. Still, Gates struck up a beneficial relationship with the financial advisor, one that may have contributed to a rift between the couple.
The former Microsoft CEO’s ties to Epstein stretch all the way back to 2011, just three years after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl in Florida. According to a New York Times report, Gates met with Epstein on numerous occasions, well after Epstein’s criminal activity had been widely commented on in the press.
The Times revealed that Gates had met with Epstein multiple times between 2011-2013, attending a party at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, taking a ride on Epstein’s infamous private jet, and visiting his home in Florida. Once Epstein was hit with sex trafficking charges and his associates faced more public scrutiny, Gates addressed with friendship with the convicted sex offender by denying he’d ever gone to “New Mexico or Florida” and maintaining he only met with him to further his own philanthropic endeavors. In 2011, Gates reportedly sent an email to staff about Epstein, writing “His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.” His spokeswoman said he was “referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence.”
Friends of the couple tell the Daily Beast that Melinda Gates is still “haunted” by the encounter with Epstein and her husband’s relationship with him, especially since she’s dedicated most of her philanthropic work to helping displaced and disadvantaged girls and young women. Reps for Bill and Melinda Gates have yet to comment on the story.
(Via The Daily Beast)