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Bill Gates’ Dealings With Jeffrey Epstein May Have Stemmed From an Alleged Affair

It’s been well-chronicled that Bill Gates’ association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was one of the reasons his marriage to Melinda French fell apart. Now, a new report from The Wall Street Journal is giving more context as to why the two men interacted in the first place. 

It seems that Epstein used his knowledge of the Microsoft founder’s affair with Russian bridge player Mila Antonova to try and threaten him. Gates had turned down an opportunity to invest in the disgraced entrepreneur’s charitable endeavor, and Epstein was reportedly intent on exacting revenge. The revealing news didn’t paint Gates in a great light because this adds another woman to his list of alleged affairs while he was married to French. 

Epstein encountered Antonova in 2013, long after Gates’ affair with her. In 2017, he sent an email to Gates asking for reimbursement for Antonova’s tuition to a software coding school that he paid for. At the same time, he alluded to the fact that he knew about Gates’ entanglement and hinted that the affair would be exposed if the payment was not made. (Spoiler alert: Gates did not make the payment.)

Gates’ spokesperson did a bit of damage control in a statement to People, noting, “Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes. Having failed repeatedly to draw Mr. Gates beyond these matters, Epstein tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates never had any financial dealings with Epstein. As Bill has said before, it was a mistake to have ever met him.” Those few meetings have continued to haunt Gates, who has repeatedly had to downplay his association with the late financier, who died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. 

In 2021, Gates spoke with Anderson Cooper and tried to explain why he even took the convicted sex offender’s call. “I had several dinners with him, hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge. When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended.” He noted that it was “a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility” even though his then-wife warned him not take the meetings. Gates and French divorced in 2021.

Before you go, click here to see all the celebrity couples who have stayed together after cheating scandals.

Kate Middleton, Prince William

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