Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier, and convicted sex offender, once threatened business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates over his alleged affair with a Russian bridge player.
The disgraced financier “tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Gates,” a spokesperson for Gates said in a statement according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
The message was reportedly sent over email in 2017 – after Epstein who died by suicide while awaiting trial on federal conspiracy and sex trafficking charges – learned of the alleged relationship with Mila Antonova.
The outlet, citing sources familiar with the matter, claimed that Epstein had also failed to get Gates to join a charitable fund that never came to fruition.
Epstein, as per reports, met Antonova in 2013, years after Gates met the bridge player when she was in her 20s, according to the same media outlet. The tech billionaire was married to ex-wife Melinda French Gates at that time.
The convicted financer, who also made headlines about his friendship with King Charles III’s younger brother Prince Andrew, asked to be reimbursed for the money he spent to send her to software coding school, according to the outlet.
The message also seemingly hinted at the idea that Epstein could expose the alleged relationship if an association between the two men was not maintained, per the newspaper, which reported that no payment was made.
“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 Gates,” a spokesperson for the co-founder of Microsoft said according to a statement obtained a media outlet.
“Gates never had any financial dealings with Epstein. As Bill has said before, it was a mistake to have ever met him,” the spokesperson added.
Bill Gates Says He Regrets Ties to Jeffrey Epstein: ‘It Was a Huge Mistake to Spend Time with Him’
In a YouTube video posted in 2010, Mila Antonova, a Russian bridge player who had an alleged affair with Bill Gates, opened up about meeting the business tycoon, now 67, during a bridge tournament in Washington, D.C. “I didn’t beat him but I tried to kick him with my leg,” she said in the video.
Antonova reportedly called on Epstein while looking for $500,000 for an online business, according to the Journal. Epstein ultimately did not invest, said the player.
She told the newspaper that “Epstein agreed to pay and he paid directly to the school.”
“I had no idea that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive,” Antonova, who did not comment on Gates, told the Journal in a statement. “I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help.”