Microsoft founder Bill Gates visited Jeffrey Epstein “many times” after he was arrested and imprisoned for child sex crimes, according to a New York Times report.
Staffers who worked for Gates says he justified his relationship with the dead billionaire pedophile by downplaying his crimes.
The Microsoft co-founder told Axios last month that he “wishes they never met” and insisted he had neither a “business or personal relationship” with Epstein.
But a new bombshell report by The New York Times claims that Gates and Epstein met numerous times beginning in 2011 – after Epstein was released from prison and was widely known as a child sex offender.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: In fact, Gates visited Epstein at least three times at Epstein’s New York City townhouse, according to The Times.
The Times says it interviewed more than a dozen people familiar with the Gates-Epstein relationship. It also says it reviewed documents confirming the claims.
Those who were employed at Gates’ foundation were also reported to have made multiple visits to Epstein’s townhouse, the Times is reporting.
The visits by Gates and the foundation workers took place despite the fact that Epstein pleaded guilty to sex crimes.
Epstein was first accused by the federal government of grooming underage girls to have sex with him in 2007.
But a controversial plea deal allowed Epstein to serve 13 months of an 18-month jail sentence – most of which he was allowed to serve at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
The deal did require Epstein to register as a sex offender.
Epstein was arrested by federal authorities in July and held at a Manhattan lockup, where he committed suicide before he could be tried for running a child prostitution ring.
After Epstein’s shock suicide on August 10, Gates’ named popped up as one of the high-powered men who potentially had some sort of working relationship with the disgraced businessman.
According to the Times, Gates and Epstein were in discussions about a joint charitable venture.
In 2011, Gates wrote in an email to colleagues: ‘[Epstein’s] lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.’
Bridgitt Arnold, a spokesperson for Gates, told the Times that Gates ‘was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence – and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.’
‘It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,’ she said.
Epstein was known to seek the company of rich, powerful men like Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and others.
Arnold told the Times that Gates was introduced to Epstein by ‘high-profile people.’
‘Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so,’ Arnold said.
‘Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein’s ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation.’
Before ever meeting Gates, Epstein knew of two people who were in his inner circle – Melanie Walker and Boris Nikolic.
Walker met Epstein just after she graduated college in 1992.
She moved to New York and stayed at a Manhattan apartment that Epstein owned after Epstein told her he could get her an audition for a modeling job with Victoria’s Secret.
Epstein was an adviser to Leslie Wexner, the billionaire who owned the lingerie maker.
After Walker finished medical school, Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.
Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who headed the company’s Windows division.
She moved to Seattle to be with Sinofsky. Eventually, Walker would join the Gates Foundation as a senior program officer.
At the foundation, Walker became friends with Nikolic, who was the organization’s science adviser.
Nikolic was known as a man who traveled and socialized frequently with Gates.
Walker, who kept in touch with Epstein, introduced him to Nikolic, and the two became friends.
That eventually led to the first face-to-face meeting between Gates and Epstein, which took place at Epstein’s New York City townhouse in January 2011, according to the Times.
The meeting is said to have included other associates of Epstein, including Eva Andersson-Dubin, the former Miss Sweden who is married to hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin.
After the hours-long meeting, Epstein wrote an email to friends saying: ‘Bill’s great.’
Gates also reportedly had positive things to say about Epstein.
In an email to colleagues obtained by the Times, he wrote: ‘A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.’
A few months later, Gates and Epstein were reportedly spotted conversing at a TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
Soon afterward in May 2011, Gates paid another visit to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, according to the Times.
The Times published a photo showing Epstein, Gates, Nikolic, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and James Staley, who at the time was an executive with JPMorgan.
At the time, the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan began discussions about creating a global charity that would fund health care projects in poor countries.
Staley reportedly told JPMorgan colleagues that Epstein wanted to be involved in the venture.
Epstein held sway with JPMorgan since he had millions of dollars parked in accounts with the investment bank, according to the Times.
He also referred a number of wealthy people who would become clients of JPMorgan, the Times reported.
Epstein wanted to pitch in to the idea. He reportedly proposed that he would solicit donations from his wealthy friends, but that he would receive a 0.3 per cent commission of whatever amount of money he raised.
Arnold told the Times that Gates was unaware that Epstein was looking to profit from the charitable venture.
She said Epstein ‘did propose to Bill Gates and then foundation officials ideas that he promised would unleash hundreds of billions for global health-related work.’
In late 2011, Gates sent a team from his foundation to Epstein’s home in New York to discuss philanthropy, the Times is reporting.
At the meeting, Epstein told his guests that the crime for which he pleaded guilty was no worse than ‘stealing a bagel.’
The Times reported that employees of the Gates Foundation were shocked to discover that the charity was working with a man who was a registered sex offender.
A few months later, another team from the Gates Foundation visited Epstein.
During this meeting, Epstein claimed he could get access to trillions of dollars of his clients’ money which would benefit the charity.
But the team from the foundation found these claims to be unrealistic and began to doubt Epstein’s credibility, the Times is reporting.
Gates and Epstein met several times afterward, though Arnold declined to specify how many times they saw each other.
In March 2013, Gates flew on Epstein’s private plane – the aircraft that has been dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’ because it was allegedly used to traffic young girls.
Arnold told the Times that Gates was not aware that the plane belonged to Epstein.
In September of that year, Gates and Epstein met for dinner in New York to discuss philanthropy, according to Arnold.
In October 2014, Gates donated $2million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab.
MIT officials believed the donation was ‘directed’ by Epstein.
But Gates’ spokeswoman is denying that Epstein was asked to control the money.
‘There was no intention, nor explicit ask, for the funding to be controlled in any manner by Epstein,’ Arnold told the Times.
By the end of 2014, Gates and Epstein were no longer in contact, prompting Epstein to complain to an acquaintance that Gates was shunning him, the Times is reporting.
The joint charitable fund that was discussed never came to be.
Arnold said: ‘Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued.’
Former employees of the Gates Foundation said at least two senior officials with the charity kept in touch with Epstein until late 2017, but Arnold said the foundation was unaware of such contacts.
Nikolic told the Times he was ‘shocked’ to learn that before Epstein killed himself in jail, he amended his will and named Gates’ science adviser as a fallback executor in the event that the primary executors are unable to serve.
Nikolic has told the courts that he does not wish to serve as executor.
He told the Times: ‘I deeply regret ever meeting Mr. Epstein.’