San Francisco: Late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein once threatened Bill Gates via an email over the Microsoft cofounder’s affair with a Russian bridge player, the media reported.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Epstein sent the threatening email after he failed to get Gates to set up a multibillion-dollar charity fund.
“Epstein discovered that Gates had an affair with a Russian bridge player and later appeared to use his knowledge to threaten one of the world’s richest men,” the report said late on Sunday, citing sources.
The disgraced financier was trying to set up a philanthropic fund that he hoped would include the billionaire as an anchor donor, it added.
The affair between the billionaire philanthropist and Mila Antonova happened around 2010 when the two met through tournaments for the card game bridge.
The WSJ also discovered a 2010 YouTube video in which Antonova talks about her passion for bridge and mentioned meeting Gates.
Antonova later met Epstein around 2013 when she was trying to get funding for a business. Now a software engineer, Antonova told the Journal she did not know about Epstein’s crimes.
“I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help. I am disgusted with Epstein and what he did,” she was quoted as saying.
Gates had also admitted that meeting Epstein was “a huge mistake” in his life.
In an interview with CNN in 2021, Gates said that “several” meetings with Epstein gave him credibility, which was a mistake.
According to him, the friendship with Epstein was an attempt to get “billions for philanthropy”.
In 2019, Gates had told The Wall Street Journal that he had met Epstein, but “didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him”.
Epstein died in prison in August 2019 as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.
He was arrested in New York following allegations that he was running a network of underage girls, some as young as 14, for sex.
His death was determined to be suicide.
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