Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that he had meetings with convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein because the enigmatic financier had connections to wealthy people.
“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him. I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that,” Gates told the newspaper in an interview published Tuesday. “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.”
Gates’ meetings with Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide last month while awaiting a trial on new sex crimes charges, were first reported by CNBC. Gates met with Epstein more than once, including in 2013 while he was the chairman of Microsoft, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting an underage prostitute and was listed in the national sex offender registry. Before his death, federal prosecutors in New York accused him of overseeing sex trafficking networks of underage girls in Florida and New York.
In 2013, Gates was worth an estimated $67 billion, according to Forbes, making him the second wealthiest person in the world. His wealth has increased to over $100 billion as of September, according to the magazine’s tally. – read more