Bachelor sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein gave Bill Gates advice on ending his marriage with Melinda after the Microsoft co-founder complained about her during a series of meetings at the money manager’s mansion, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Gates used the gatherings at Epstein’s $77 million New York townhouse as an escape from what he told Epstein was a “toxic” marriage, a topic both men found humorous, a person who attended the meetings reportedly told The Daily Beast.
The billionaire met Epstein dozens of times starting in 2011 and continuing through to 2014 mostly at the financier’s Manhattan home—a substantially higher number than has been previously reported. Their conversations took place years before Bill and Melinda Gates announced this month that they were splitting up.
Gates, in turn, encouraged Epstein to rehabilitate his image in the media following his 2008 guilty plea for soliciting a minor for prostitution, and discussed Epstein becoming involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda.— Source who attended the gatherings
The people familiar with the matter said Gates found freedom in Epstein’s lair, where he met a rotating cast of bold-faced names and discussed worldly issues in between rounds of jokes and gossip—a “men’s club” atmosphere that irritated Melinda.
“[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” one of the people who was at several of the meetings said, adding that Epstein and Gates “were very close.”
A representative for Bill Gates told The Daily Beast: “Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated. Similarly, any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false.”
The spokesperson disputed the number of times Epstein and Gates met and said the two men never discussed Epstein getting involved with the foundation.
“Bill never received or solicited personal advice of any kind from Epstein— on marriage or anything else. Bill never complained about Melinda or his marriage to Epstein.” A representative for Melinda did not respond to a request for comment for this report.
Melinda Gates was reportedly furious over Bill’s relationship with Epstein, and was put off by the creepy financier upon meeting him in September 2013, after the couple accepted an award at a New York City hotel. Melinda’s anger, people familiar with the matter said, eventually led to the demise of Bill and Epstein’s friendship.
On May 3, the high-powered couple announced they were ending their 27-year marriage in a statement that read, in part: “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this next life.” In her petition for divorce Melinda said her marriage is “irretrievably broken” and indicated the couple had settled on a plan to divide their vast assets outside the courtroom.
Last week, the New York Post reported that Gates told his golfing buddies he was in a “loveless” marriage which “had been over for some time,” while People described Epstein as a “sore spot” in the couple’s relationship.
But Epstein wasn’t the couple’s only point of contention.
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that Gates allegedly made advances on women who worked at Microsoft and his foundation while he was married to Melinda.
The Journal followed up with its own report, revealing that Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board in 2020 amid an internal investigation into an alleged sexual relationship with a company engineer, who came forward in late 2019. (“There was an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably,” a Gates spokeswoman told the Journal, adding that his departure from the board wasn’t related to the relationship.)
People close to Bill Gates told The Daily Beast that the deterioration of their relationship could be seen in Bill and Melinda’s body language. The couple used to interact with “more laughter and ease,” said one friend of Bill, who added that eventually, “being around them was like arriving at a summit.”
“It wasn’t like arriving at a dinner with a couple or something; it was more like two heads of state,” the friend added. “So that’s why Epstein could have been a factor [in their split], but was it the factor? That I fundamentally don’t believe.”
The friend said the couple’s strictly regimented existence as billionaire philanthropists supplanted the more normal life and levity they enjoyed in their younger years. “Bill is far less comfortable being out in the world,” the person said. “For Bill, it was just so rare he was allowed to do normal things, which I think he really craved.”
To Bill, such “normal” things included meeting new people over dinner at Epstein’s home—a break from the tech mogul’s tightly choreographed schedule of events where he’d be seated at the head table with the most prominent guests.
“Bill was embarrassed by the attention an entourage would have brought,” the person said. “His entourage was security, and he never looked comfortable with it. With Melinda, it was very imperious, ‘The Queen has arrived’ kind of thing.”