When news emerged last week that billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates planned to divorce many were surprised that the couple would go through such a highly-publicized split after 27 years as husband and wife.
Though some speculated that the dissolution was timed to follow their youngest child’s graduation from high school, it emerged this weekend that Mrs. Gates’ desire to end the union may have also stemmed from her soon-to-be-ex’s relationship with convicted sex offender and disgraced financier, Jeffrey Epstein, as Fox Business reported.
As news of the breakup hit in early May, a source suggested to People that the timing of the divorce was “absolutely because their youngest child is graduating from high school, and the idea was that they stayed together through that,” adding, “they limped through until their kids were out of school like a lot of people.”
However, on Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the parting of ways was much longer in the works than the public was led to believe, and that there may have been a much darker reason underlying the decision.
Sources familiar with the situation say that going back all the way to 2013, Mrs. Gates had indicated to her husband that she was uncomfortable with Epstein after having met him, and despite that fact, Bill Gates continued to interact with him more extensively than he admitted.
Reporting from the New York Times in 2019 revealed that Gates had held meetings with Epstein, but at the time, the former Microsoft CEO explained that he regretted that decision and called it an “error in judgment,” but maintained he “didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” according to Vanity Fair.
The truth, however, though, was that multiple meetings between the two did occur over a period of years, even after Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and to felony solicitation of prostitution.
The revelation that the connection between Bill Gates and Epstein was apparently more substantial and longer in duration than the public knew reportedly prompted Mrs. Gates to begin consulting with divorce attorneys back in 2019, culminating in last weeks’ startling announcement, according to Vanity Fair.
Given Epstein’s rumored involvement with a long list of high-profile public figures including former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and a host of Hollywood stars, not to mention the horrifying sex trafficking allegations he was facing at the time of his mysterious death, one wonders whether there may be more information yet to come regarding Bill Gates’ ties to this seemingly never-ending scandal.