The alleged suicide of convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has caused many to scrutinize his numerous relationships with the rich and powerful. Epstein was known to have associated with former president Bill Clinton, current President Donald Trump, and billionaire tech giant Bill Gates.
Gates has distanced himself from Epstein and denies having a friendship or business relationship with the disgraced financier. Regardless, the spotlight on their association has revealed some interesting details about Gates’ relationship with Epstein and his perception of Epstein’s controversial life.
Per a recent New York Times report, an email with Gates’ colleagues in 2011 shows his thoughts on Epstein after their first get-together.
“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” he wrote.
Given the charges of sex trafficking that Epstein faced at his death, Gates’ comment might sound disturbing. But according to Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Gates, his email was referring to the “unique décor of the Epstein residence” as well as Epstein’s tendency to “spontaneously” bring in acquaintances to meet him.
“It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,” she said.
According to Arnold, Gates “regrets” meeting with Epstein and sees the decision as an “error in judgement.”
“Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein’s ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation.”
The @nytimes interviewed well over a dozen sources with knowledge of the relationship, and reviewed documents detailing their numerous meetings.
— David Enrich (@davidenrich) October 12, 2019
Gates eventually had the Gates Foundation send a team to Epstein’s townhome and discuss potential philanthropic fundraising. The meeting took place after Epstein’s 13-month jail stint for soliciting and procuring an underage prostitute, and subsequent release as a sex offender. According to the Times report, two of the people at the meeting claim Epstein said the charges for which he went to prison were not worse than “stealing a bagel.”
Epstein is reported to have used his vast connections to wealthy and prominent figures to support his alleged sex trafficking ring. He used hairdressers, dentists, psychiatrists, and immigration lawyers to bolster his activities, and is even said to have used doctors to screen his victims for sexually transmitted diseases and provide them with birth control.
“Not one person helped us. Everyone around us had to know, because we looked so broken. But no one did anything,” Sarah Ransome, one of Epstein’s victims, said of the trafficking network, per The Miami Herald.
Editor’s note: this story previously erroneously attributed the statement that Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes were “not worse than ‘stealing a bagel'” to Bill Gates. The Inquisitr’s editorial team regrets this error.