Convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein reportedly blackmailed Bill Gates and threatened to reveal her alleged affair with a Russian bridge player.
The late pedophile threatened to reveal Microsoft the co-founder’s alleged affair with Mila Antonova if Mr. Gates did not reimburse him for tuition costs that Epstein had initially covered for the woman to attend a software coding school, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Epstein blackmailed Mr Gates in an email in 2017 after he failed to convince the world’s fourth-richest man to join a multibillion-dollar charitable trust he was trying to start JPMorgan Chase.
According to WSJ The report was the implication behind the message that Epstein could expose the affair if Mr Gates did not maintain a link between the two men.
“Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes. After repeatedly failing to draw Mr. Gates beyond these issues, Epstein unsuccessfully attempted to leverage a previous relationship to threaten Mr. Gates,” a Gates Foundation spokesperson said. the journal.
The Microsoft founder reportedly met Antonova around 2010, when she was in her 20s. In a YouTube video posted the same year, she spoke of meeting Mr Gates at a bridge tournament and playing against him.
“I didn’t hit him but I tried to kick him with my leg,” Antonova said in the video.
According to the journal, Ms. Antonova sought to secure funds to establish an online bridge tutoring business. She was introduced to Epstein through Boris Nikolic, a close adviser to Mr Gates.
Antonova and Nikolic met Epstein at his townhouse in November 2013 in New York City, where she reportedly sought $500,000 for her initiative to “promote bridge by creating quality tutorials for beginners and advanced players”.
Epstein did not invest in his project, but she continued to live in one of his New York apartments a year later. He later paid for Antonova to attend software coding school.
While she was looking to launch her initiative, Epstein sought to establish her charitable trust with JPMorgan, which would require the multibillionaires to make a contribution of at least $100 million.
Antonova, in a statement to the journal, said she did not know who Epstein was when they met. “I had no idea he was a criminal or had any ulterior motives,” she said of Epstein.
“I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help. I’m disgusted by Epstein and what he did.”
The bridge player declined to comment on Mr Gates.
In 2006, Epstein was accused of sexual abuse of minors as young as 14 and pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a minor for prostitution. He was sentenced to 18 months in the Palm Beach County Jail System and registered as a sex offender.
Mr. Gates reportedly began the relationship with Epstein after he was convicted of sex crimes. The duo met on numerous occasions beginning in 2011, at least three times at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, New York Times previously reported.
The charitable trust was meant to be a way for Epstein to rebuild his reputation, the sources said.
Epstein, in emails sent to JPMorgan executives, tried to come off as a close adviser to Mr. Gates.
“Essentially, this (fund) will give Bill access to higher quality people, investment, allocation, governance without upsetting either his marriage or the sensitivity (sic) of current foundation employees,” Epstein wrote in an August 2011 email .
The next day he followed up and wrote: “Bill is terribly frustrated. He would! like to boost some of the things that work without taking away from the ones that aren’t (sic).”
In October, Epstein sent another email to JPMorgan executives after the company prepared a presentation, writing: “the presentation is not tailored for (Bill). He is the only person, the only one, that counts.”
A JPMorgan spokesperson said: “The firm did not need him for introductions. Knowing what we know today, we wish we had never done business with him.”
The journal quoted a Gates spokesman as saying that Epstein never worked for Mr. Gates and that he “distributed his ties in communications with JPMorgan and others.”
In August 2019, Epstein took his own life in a federal prison cell in New York City, aged 66, while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
The independent has reached out to the Gates Foundation for comment.