Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein ‘threats’ cause sex trafficker’s pals to ‘panic’

Convicted sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein threatened Bill Gates and tried to blackmail the Microsoft co-founder over an alleged affair with a Russian bridge player, it has been reported. This revelation could “send panic” among the dead Wall Street financier’s friends, the Mirror reports, one of which is said to be disgraced Prince Andrew.

The Microsoft tycoon met Mila Antonova in 2010 when she was in her 20s and he was around 55 years old, and married. However, Jeffrey Epstein met the young woman, later, in 2013 before funding her studies at a software coding school. According to the Wall Street Journal, he emailed Mr Gates in 2017 and asked to be reimbursed for the cost of the course.

The email is said to come after Epstein had tried and failed to persuade Mr Gates to take part in a multibillion-dollar charitable fund he had attempted to set up with JPMorgan Chase.

The WSJ reports people who viewed the message took the implication to be that Epstein was hinting he could reveal the alleged affair if Mr Gates did not keep up an association between the two men.

But a spokeswoman for Mr Gates has denied this, and has said the pair purely met for “philanthropic purposes.” Ms Antova also said she only met with Epstein as she thought he was “trying to help”. She says she had no idea of his criminal behaviour.

A source told the Mirror: “Epstein kept a treasure trove of information in his safes of his famous friends [as an].. insurance policy.” The source added the revelations about the apparent threat to Mr Gates “will send panic” among Epstein’s pals.

During his association with Epstein, Prince Andrew stayed at three of the US sex offender’s properties. The Duke has previously stated he “regretted his association” with Epstein.

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A spokeswoman for Mr Gates said: “He met 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.”

Ms Antonova, who declined to comment on Mr Gates, 67, said of Epstein: “I had no idea [at the time] that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive. I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help.”

She told the Wall Street Journal: “I am disgusted with Epstein and what he did.”

Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York in 2019 aged 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The death was ruled a suicide.

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