Jeffrey Epstein discovered that Bill Gates had an affair with a Russian bridge player and later appeared to use his knowledge to threaten one of the world’s richest men, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Microsoft co-founder met the woman around 2010, when she was in her 20s. Epstein met her in 2013 and later paid for her to attend software coding school. In 2017, Epstein emailed Gates and asked to be reimbursed for the cost of the course, according to the people familiar with the matter.
The email came after the convicted sex offender had struggled and failed to convince Gates to participate in a multibillion-dollar charitable fund that Epstein tried to establish with JPMorgan Chase. The implication behind the message, according to people who have viewed it, was that Epstein could reveal the affair if Gates didn’t keep up an association between the two men.
“Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes. Having failed repeatedly to draw Mr. Gates beyond these matters, Epstein tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Mr. Gates,” said a spokeswoman for Gates. (Read more: The Wall Street Journal, 5/21/2023)