Since new details and lawsuits emerged against convicted sex offender and millionaire financer Jeffrey Epstein this year, investigations have sought to show how far his network spread. However, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has explained why he met with Epstein in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Yesterday, CNBC reported the former Microsoft chief and leading philanthropist met with Epstein in 2013. According to the report, Epstein has “unleashed an aggressive lobbying campaign” to score the meeting with Gates.
In an interview with WSJ, Gates says he took the meeting simply because Epstein, who committed suicide in his jail cell in August, could connect him with a lot of wealthy people.
“I met him,” Gates told the Journal. “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. 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.”
“Every meeting where I was with him were meetings with men,” Gates added. “I was never at any parties or anything like that. He never donated any money to anything that I know about.”
Of course, there's no guilt by simple association even if Gates and Epstein were friends. However, Gates insists that was not the case and the meeting was purely business related. It is worth noting that in 2013 Epstein had already taken a controversial plea deal (2008) for procuring an underage prostitiube in Florida.
Since the WSJ interview was conducted, a New Yorker article revealed financial links between Jeffrey Epstein and MIT's multidisciplinary Media Lab, something Gates is also reportedly involved in. The report points to records that shows the Media Lab tried to hide Epstein as a source of $7.5 million in donations.
Included was a $2 million donation that was a “gift from Bill Gates directed by Jeffrey Epstein. For gift recording purposes, we will not be mentioning Jeffrey's name as the impetus for this gift.”
A spokesman for Bill Gates said: “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is simply not true. And any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grantmaking for Bill Gates is completely false.”