Microsoft founder Bill Gates confirmed Tuesday that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein after the disgraced millionaire financier pleaded guilty for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl.
Gates denied having any business relationship with Epstein but did admit to meeting with him in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which noted aspects of his connections to Epstein. He reportedly met with Epstein in 2013 when the billionaire philanthropist was still the chairman of Microsoft.
“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him. I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that,” Gates said. “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.”
Gates is worth $100 billion as of September, according to Forbes.
Epstein, an enigmatic figure who hobnobbed with academics and celebrities, pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting an underage prostitute and was listed in the national sex offender registry. Federal prosecutors in New York accused him of overseeing a sex-trafficking network before his death in August of an apparent suicide.
Gates noted that the meetings were not of a private nature.
“Every meeting where I was with him were meetings with men,” Gates said. “I was never at any parties or anything like that. He never donated any money to anything that I know about.”
Bill and his wife, Melinda, run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charity with assets in 2018 that were worth almost $48 billion, CNBC reported Tuesday, citing documents released by the charity.
Gates did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for further comment through the foundation’s press office. (RELATED: What’s Next For The Epstein Case?)
Epstein arranged for a $2 million donation in 2014 from Gates to the MIT Media Lab, The New Yorker noted in a Sept. 6 report.
“Any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false,” a representative for Gates told TheWSJ.
Recent reports have also explored efforts by New York publicists to reintroduce Epstein into academic and elite circles after the millionaire was released from jail. BuzzFeed, for instance, reported Monday that tech titans like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and others attended a dinner meeting in 2011 where Epstein was present.
Bezos and Musk did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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