According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the late sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein attempted to blackmail billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates by leveraging his knowledge of an alleged affair between Gates and a Russian bridge player. Mila Antonova, the bridge player, met Gates in 2010, while Epstein encountered her in 2013, as reported by WSJ.
Epstein later financed Antonova’s attendance at a coding school and subsequently requested reimbursement from Gates for the expenses incurred. People familiar with the situation informed WSJ about these details.
The report suggests that Epstein’s email to Gates insinuated that he would disclose the alleged affair unless Gates maintained his association with Epstein. Individuals who have seen the email claim that its tone indicated Epstein’s awareness of the affair, even though the relationship had ended years prior, as stated in the WSJ article.
It is noted in the WSJ report that Gates had previously turned down Epstein’s invitation to participate in a charitable fund that Epstein sought to establish with J.P. Morgan Chase. Additionally, Gates did not fulfill the payment request made by Epstein.
“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,” a spokesperson for Gates told the outlet.
According to calendar records obtained by WSJ, Epstein and Gates initiated their meetings in 2011 and scheduled multiple gatherings at Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan.
Flight records reviewed by the outlet indicate that Gates flew on Epstein’s private plane from New Jersey to Florida in March 2013.
In addition, they had another meeting in March 2013 in the company of a Nobel Prize Committee official in France. They also spent a day together in New York City in September 2014, as reported by WSJ. Gates has expressed regret about his association with Epstein and stated that he should not have met with him.
Documents obtained by WSJ reveal that Epstein was attempting to establish a charitable fund with J.P. Morgan, proposing a minimum individual contribution of $100 million.
People familiar with Epstein’s thinking mentioned that he intended to use the fund as a means to restore his reputation following his 2008 conviction for procuring and soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida.