Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates had a much closer relationship with late financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein than Gates has previously stated, the New York Times reported on Saturday, including multiple visits to Epstein’s now-infamous New York townhouse.
Gates had previously admitted to a Wall Street Journal reporter that he had met with Epstein to gain access to the latter’s circle of wealthy friends for philanthopic reasons. However, he denied any “business relationship or friendship” with Epstein, who died by suicide while in jail awaiting trial on federal charges of sex trafficking minors. Gates also denied he was ever “at any parties or anything like that” with Epstein, with a spokesperson also saying that Epstein never “directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates.”
Now, per the Times, sources and documents say that Gates met with Epstein on “numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night.” The Times also reported that Gates’ employees went on “multiple visits” to Epstein’s property and that Epstein pitched Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase on a “multibillion-dollar charitable fund,” which could have resulted in Epstein picking up “enormous fees” in the tens of millions.
On Tuesday, CNBC reported that Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates met with late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2013 after Epstein “unleashed an aggressive lobbying campaign” to secure that meeting. In an interview published on Wednesday, Gates offered his explanation of why to the Wall Street Journal: Epstein knew a lot of rich people!
The first meeting was on Jan. 31, 2011, when Gates met with Epstein, former Miss Sweden Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin (spouse of billionaire hedge funder Glenn Dubin), and the Dubins’ 15-year-old daughter. At the time, Epstein’s reputation was a convicted sex offender was well-known. That gathering started at 8pm and lasted hours, with the Times reporting that Gates wrote to colleagues the next day, “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.” That year, Gates was also seen talking privately with Epstein at a TED conference in California and visited Epstein again at his New York mansion with others, including then-senior JPMorgan exec James E. Stanley and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.
Around that time, sources told the paper, Epstein was pitching both the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan on beginning a charitable fund to operate in tandem with the two institutions’ Global Health Investment Fund. In late 2011, Gates’ employees met with Epstein at Gates’ instruction, with sources telling the paper he said his shady 2007 plea deal and conviction was no worse than “stealing a bagel.”
At one point in 2011, Gates wrote in an email that Epstein’s “lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” the Times wrote.
In March 2013, Gates flew on Epstein’s jet from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida, and six months later met Epstein in New York for dinner and a discussion on philanthropy. Finally, in October 2014, Gates donated $US2 million ($3 million) to the MIT Media Lab, whose director Joichi Ito resigned this year after his extensive financial ties to Epstein became public news. The New Yorker reported that Media Lab staff recorded the donation as directed by Epstein, but kept Epstein’s name anonymous, writing in records that “Gates is making this gift at the recommendation of a friend of his who wishes to remain anonymous.”
Epstein’s proposed charitable fund never became reality, and Gates seemed to have stopped engaging with him after 2014, though former foundation employees told the Times that “at least two senior Gates Foundation officials” remained in contact with the financier until 2017.
Note that one of the Gates Foundation’s biggest missions is gender equality and empowering women and girls. Earlier this month, Melinda Gates announced that she was committing $US1 ($1.5 billion) billion over the next 10 years towards “expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.”
According to the Times, a spokesperson for Gates said “Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgment to do so. Gates recognises 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... Over time, Gates and his team realised Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued.”
The spokesperson also said the email Gates wrote was, of course, only “referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence.”
The director of MIT’s Media Lab, Joichi Ito, stepped down on Saturday after his and the research institution’s extensive ties to late financier and accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein were exposed, the New York Times reported.