Late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein allegedly threatened to expose an affair Bill Gates was having with a young Russian bridge player, according to a new Wall Street Journal report.
The report claims that Bill Gates met Mila Antonova, a Russian bridge player in her 20s, around 2010.
Newly resurfaced video shows Antonova interviewing a smiling Bill Gates at the 2010 National Bridge Tournament. She was around 26 at the time. Gates was 54 and married.
Three years later, according to the Journal, Jeffrey Epstein met her and paid for Antonova to attend a software programming boot camp.
In 2017, Epstein asked Gates in a semi-threatening email to reimburse him for the cost of the coding course.
“Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes. Having failed repeatedly to draw Mr. Gates beyond these matters, Epstein tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Mr. Gates,” said a spokeswoman for Gates.
The sum was immaterial for the two men and the tone of the message was that Epstein knew about the affair and could expose it, the people said.
The spokeswoman for Gates said he didn’t make a payment. “Mr. Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein,” she said.
Antonova, who declined to comment on Gates, said about Epstein, “I had no idea that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive. I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help.”
In a 2021 interview, things got very awkward when Bill Gates was asked about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein by PBS Newshour host Judy Woodruff.
“It was reported that you continued to meet with him over several years, and that, in other words, a number of meetings,” Woodruff said, causing Gates to fidget and quickly look off-screen at someone.
“What did you do when you found out about his background?” Woodruff followed up.
“Well, you know, I’ve said I regretted having those dinners, uh, and there’s nothing… there’s absolutely nothing new on that,” said an obviously annoyed Gates.
“Is there a lesson for you… for anyone else looking at this?” asked Woodruff.
“Well, he’s dead, so, uh, in general you always have to be careful,” Gates replied.
Gates’ friendship with Epstein reportedly began in 2011, three years after he had already pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor and reportedly continued into 2014.
The Microsoft founder’s 27-year marriage to Melinda French Gates came to an end in 2021 and ended up costing him over $140 billion.