Did Bill Gates lie about relationship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein?Last updated on Oct 15, 2019, 01:40 pm
A recent report has revealed that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had met late US financier Jeffrey Epstein "many times" despite having knowledge of his sexual crimes against children.
However, last month, Gates had claimed that he had "no business or friendship" with Epstein, who was convicted for his offenses, and earlier this year, he committed suicide in prison.
Here are more details.
Gates and Epstein first met in 2011
A New York Times report on Saturday detailed the many meetings between Gates (the world's second-richest person) and Epstein even after the latter was convicted of sex crimes.
Reportedly, the two first met in 2011 and on numerous occasions thereafter, according to a dozen people privy to the relationship and documents.
Gates's spokesperson Bridgitt Arnold declined to clarify how many times the two met.
Two of Gates' 'inner circle members' became intermediaries
Reportedly, Gates was introduced to Epstein by two members of his inner circle- Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker.
Walker first met Epstein in 1992 and the two remained in touch. In 2006, she joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she befriended Nikolic.
Walker introduced Nikolic to Epstein and the two men struck a friendship.
Epstein's will named Nikolic as a fallback executor.
After first meeting, Gates praised Epstein's 'charm and intelligence'
On January 31, 2011, Epstein and Gates met face-to-face for the first time at Epstein's New York City townhouse.
Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, former Miss Sweden who once dated Epstein, and her 15-year-old daughter, were present during the meeting, which went on till late.
After the meeting, Epstein wrote an email to friends and associates saying, "Bill's great," while Gates praised his "charm and intelligence."
Epstein's lifestyle kind of intriguing; wouldn't work for me: Gates
Gates also emailed colleagues after the first saying, "[Epstein's] lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it wouldn't work for me."
Arnold claimed he 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 added.
Epstein wanted to discuss philanthropic funding with Gates's Foundation
Notably, Gates and employees of his Foundation met Epstein on multiple occasions over philanthropic funding.
Epstein had envisaged a vast fund for global health, seeded with the Gates Foundation's money.
During one such late-2011 meeting with employees of the Foundation, Epstein said that his crimes- soliciting prostitution from an underage girl- were no worse than "stealing a bagel," according to two people present.
Gates and Epstein continued to meet
Gates and Epstein later met at a TED conference in Long Beach, California, where attendees witnessed them having a private conversation.
Gates visited Epstein's NYC mansion again on May 3, 2011, according to emails about the meet and photographs.
Gates also flew on Epstein's private jet which was reportedly travel hub of Epstein's sex trafficking.
Gates said he didn't know it was Epstein's plane.
Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein: His spokesperson
Meanwhile, speaking about the meetings, Gates's spokespersons Arnold told the Times, "Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so."
She added, "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."
Gates, Epstein stopped meeting in late 2014
However, the charitable fund with Gates Foundation never took shape and in late 2014, Epstein complained to an acquaintance that Gates had stopped talking to him, NYT reported quoting a person familiar with the conversation.
Interestingly, two senior Gates Foundation officials remained in contact with Epstein until late 2017, former Foundation employees told the publication.
Arnold said the Foundation wasn't aware of such contact.
Gates denied 'business relationship or friendship' with Epstein last month
And, now last month, Gates told The Wall Street Journal that he didn't have a "business relationship or friendship" with Epstein.
Gates said, "I didn't go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach etc. 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."
Epstein found hanging from prison cell in August
To recall, Epstein was found hanging from his prison cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, in August.
Epstein, who was convicted in 2007 for earlier crimes, was to face trial for more grievous accusations involving sex-trafficking of minor girls as young as 14.
Epstein was known for cultivating relationships with powerful men including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, etc.