Bill and Melinda Gates just announced they would be divorcing this past week, on May 3, after 27 years of marriage, as we reported.
But according to a new Wall Street Journal report, Melinda Gates has been talking to lawyers since 2019, since the story about Jeffrey Epstein blew up and it was reported that her husband Bill had met with Epstein.
But the couple didn’t work out the agreement surrounding the divorce until this past week, when they announced the divorce.
According to the Journal, Melinda was unsettled by Epstein from the outset when she met him in 2013. But when she expressed concerns about it at that time, her husband reportedly disregarded her concerns and continued to meet with Epstein. According to the Daily Beast, Gates had known Epstein since 2011.
This was all after Epstein pled guilty in 2008 to a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and served 13 months in jail.
Gates has previously downplayed the relationship.
“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” Gates said in September 2019, as media coverage into his connections with Epstein were heating up. “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. I was never at any parties or anything like that. He never donated any money to anything that I know about.”
But for someone who didn’t have a business relationship or friendship with him, he met with him multiple times, at least once involving Palm Beach, seeming contrary to what he said, according to the Daily Beast.
The New York Times revealed Gates had met with Epstein at a 2011 get-together at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse that included the financier’s ex-girlfriend Eva Andersson-Dubin and her daughter. (Virginia Giuffre, a survivor of Epstein’s sex ring, has accused Dubin’s hedge-funder husband, Glenn, of abuse—a charge he has strenuously denied.)
Indeed, the Times reported Gates visited Epstein multiple times from 2011 to 2013, and that Epstein had tried pitching a new charitable fund to JPMorgan honchos and to the Gates Foundation. In 2013, Gates also took a ride on Epstein’s private jet (christened by tabloids as the Lolita Express), from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida, according to flight records reviewed by the Times. CNBC also reported that Gates rendezvoused with Epstein in New York in 2013.
The Daily Beast reported that Epstein said Gates cut off the contact some times at the end of 2014.
Now, this is all rather fascinating. It may be that this is, in part, PR by Melinda Gates in her divorce battle with her husband. But it does appear that the relationship with Epstein was deeper than Bill Gates claimed. It also raises questions, about why even after Epstein’s guilty plea, Gates continued to have contact with Epstein? Also, if it was such a significant thing in the marriage, as this report suggests, who knew what when? And, most importantly, what was unnerving her about that relationship?