Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was known for his connections to the world’s most rich and powerful figures — and that relationship may have led to Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The billionaire couple announced their divorce in early May, saying they did not “believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.” The couple hasn’t confirmed what caused the divorce, but sources told the Wall Street Journal Melinda was concerned about Bill’s dealings with Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Bill’s spokesperson reportedly said the meetings between him and Epstein were over the subject of philanthropy, something Bill and Melinda are known for through their foundation. The spokesperson added that Bill “regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgement to do so.”
But the extent of the dealings is unclear.
Melinda reportedly told her husband she was uncomfortable with the relationship with Epstein after a 2013 meeting with Epstein. He had been convicted five years earlier of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor. But Bill had continued to meet with Epstein on multiple occasions in 2019, and he once stayed late into the night at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, according to the Journal.
Bill’s employees at the couple’s foundation also reportedly made multiple visits to Epstein’s mansion. Bill said in an email to colleagues in 2011 that Epstein’s “lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” according to The New York Times.
The Times also reported that Epstein was pitching ideas for a charitable fund to J.P. Morgan officials and to Bill’s adviser. The fund would focus on health projects globally, sources reportedly said, and Epstein planned to gather donations from other wealthy friends in addition to the donations from Gates, the Times reported.
Epstein had connections to presidents, princes, and celebrities, many of which tried to distance themselves from him following his death. Epstein visited the White House during former President Bill Clinton’s administration at least four times, and attended a Clinton-hosted donors’ reception at the White House in September 1993. Weeks before Epstein’s death, Former President Donald Trump said he had a “falling out” with Epstein roughly 15 years prior. (RELATED: Here’s A List Of The Rich And Famous Caught In Photos With Ghislaine Maxwell)
Among the elite names to have joined Epstein and Gates was Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden, founder of the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and one of Epstein’s former girlfriends, according to the Times.
Andersson-Dubin’s 15-year-old daughter also reportedly joined Epstein and Gates at the 2011 meeting. Epstein wrote in an email that “Bill’s great,” according to the Times, following the meeting. Gates also complimented Epstein in an email to colleagues. “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late,” the email reportedly said, according to the Times.
According to Vanity Fair, Epstein was invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Dubin’s Palm Beach home after his 2008 conviction. Andersson-Dubin wrote in an email to Epstein’s probation officer that she was “100% comfortable with Jeffrey Epstein around my children.”