The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Epstein wanted Gates to invest in a multibillion-dollar charitable fund with JPMorgan back in 2013, but Gates refused.
Epstein then sent Gates an email in 2017 implicitly warning he would expose an affair Gates was having in 2010 with bridge player Mila Antonova if he didn’t participate.
From The Wall Street Journal:
The Microsoft co-founder met the woman around 2010, when she was in her 20s. Epstein met her in 2013 and later paid for her to attend software coding school. In 2017, Epstein emailed Gates and asked to be reimbursed for the cost of the course, according to the people familiar with the matter.
The email came after the convicted sex offender had struggled and failed to convince Gates to participate in a multibillion-dollar charitable fund that Epstein tried to establish with JPMorgan Chase. The implication behind the message, according to people who have viewed it, was that Epstein could reveal the affair if Gates didn’t keep up an association between the two men.
Epstein had sent the email asking for Gates to reimburse him for putting Antonova through coding school, but the actual purpose of the email seemed to be blackmail.
In 2017, Epstein contacted Gates about the Russian bridge player, years after the relationship had ended, according to people familiar with the matter. He sent an email to Gates asking to be reimbursed for the costs of Antonova’s coding school, the people said.
Antonova wouldn’t comment on her relationship with Gates, but told WSJ that she was unaware of Epstein’s sex trafficking activities when they met.
Mila Antonova, the Russian bridge player, declined to comment on Gates and said she didn’t know who Epstein was when they met. “I had no idea that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive,” she said of Epstein. “I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help.” She added: “I am disgusted with Epstein and what he did.”
The new details about Epstein and Gates reveal a layer of complexity to their relationship, and shed new light on how Epstein operated. In the years between his 2008 conviction and death, Epstein packed his days meeting with politicians, businessmen, academics and celebrities. He provided favors and sought to use the connections for his own purposes. And when the relationships soured, he could turn against people.
A spokesman for Gates said he never reimbursed Epstein for Antonova’s coding classes.
“Mr. Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein,” she said.
Gates and Epstein held multiple meetings on the billionaire financier’s private Caribbean island, in Paris, New York, and in New Jersey, which Gates later claimed he regretted doing.
“I had dinners with him. I regret doing that,” the Microsoft co-founder told PBS’s Judy Woodruff in 2021.
When asked if he learned any lessons from his experience with Epstein, Gates responded, “Well, he’s dead, so in general you always have to be careful.”
The report suggests the two billionaires “had a more complicated relationship than was previously known” given the convicted pedophile had the gall to blackmail Gates, one of the richest men in the world.
In fact, Melinda Gates divorced Bill in 2021 in part because of his questionable relationship with Epstein.
As for Epstein’s joint charitable fund with JPMorgan, that never took off.
“The firm didn’t need him as a client,” a JPMorgan spokesman said of Epstein. “The firm didn’t need him for introductions. Knowing what we know today, we wish we had never done business with him.”
**By Jamie White