New information suggests that Jeffrey Epstein uncovered an affair between Bill Gates and a Russian bridge player, and later used that knowledge to threaten the tech mogul. Sunday’s Wall Street Journal report adds further evidence to the belief that Epstein was a spy or blackmailer.
Details in the report indicate that the woman, Mila Antonova, met Gates in 2010 when she was 20 years old. Epstein met her in 2013, then sponsored her attendance at a software coding school. In 2017, Epstein sent an email to Gates, asking for a refund of Antonova’s course fees after failing to involve Gates in a charitable fund he tried to set up with JPMorgan Chase.
Bill Gates’ spokeswoman responded to the allegations, stating that Gates had met with Epstein only for philanthropic purposes and that Epstein’s efforts to use a past relationship to threaten Gates were unsuccessful. Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was accused of sexually abusing underage girls and later arrested for sex trafficking in 2019. He died in prison later that year.
Gates, a Microsoft technology adviser and prominent philanthropist, has admitted to meeting Epstein a few times but has expressed regret, stressing that their association was a mistake.
Antonova’s relationship with Epstein calls into question the nature of their relationship. The Russian bridge player denied knowledge of Epstein’s criminal activities and claimed he believed he was a successful businessman who wanted to help. Antonova had proposed an online business venture related to the bridge and sought funding, which led to an introduction to Epstein through Boris Nikolic, a Gates confidant and former scientific advisor. Although Epstein did not invest in Antonova’s project, he agreed to pay for her programming boot camp when she decided to pursue a career as a software programmer.
The revelations shed light on the complexity of the Epstein-Gates relationship, illustrating Epstein’s modus operandi in the years between his conviction and death. Epstein met regularly with politicians, businessmen, academics and celebrities, using his connections for personal gain. However, when relationships soured, Epstein had a tendency to turn against people.
Flight records indicate that Gates had numerous meetings with Epstein beginning in 2011, including dinners at Epstein’s New York home and a flight on Epstein’s private jet. While Gates enjoyed playing bridge, he connected with Antonova, who also shared an interest in the card game. The two met during a bridge tournament and Gates played against her.
Epstein also had scheduled meetings with people close to Gates, including Boris Nikolic, Nathan Myhrvold and Melanie Walker, an employee of the Gates Foundation. Epstein tried to set up a multibillion-dollar charitable fund with JPMorgan, backed by Gates. However, the fund never materialized, and Epstein’s emails to JPMorgan executives suggested a close relationship with Gates, which Gates’ spokeswoman denied.
The WSJ article concludes by highlighting Epstein’s latest attempt to exert influence over Gates. In 2017, Epstein contacted Gates and requested reimbursement for Antonova’s coding school expenses. Epstein, aware of the affair, is believed to have threatened to expose it if Gates did not comply. Gates’ spokeswoman said no payment was made, stressing that Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein.
Days before his death, Epstein amended his will and named Nikolic as security executor, leading Nikolic to believe it was retaliation against Gates. Nikolic, however, declined to serve as executor.
Jeffrey Epstein had scheduled meetings with several prominent political elites, including current CIA director William Burns and former White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.
Epstein’s private calendar adds fuel to the belief that he was a spy or agent who was stockpiling “blackmail material” on the world’s most powerful people. It is unclear why Epstein met with the CIA director or the former White House counsel.
The meetings came after Epstein had served prison time in 2008 for a sex crime involving a minor, according to the Wall Street Journal report.
William Burns, director of the Central Intelligence Agency since 2021, had three meetings scheduled with Epstein in 2014, when he was deputy secretary of state, according to Epstein’s schedule. They first met in Washington, and Burns apparently visited Epstein’s home in Manhattan.
Kathryn Ruemmler, a former White House adviser under President Barack Obama, had dozens of meetings with Epstein before becoming a top lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group in 2020. Epstein scheduled her to join to him on a trip to Paris in 2015 and on a visit in 2017. to Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
The report added that Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College, invited Epstein, who then brought a group of young female guests to campus. Noam Chomsky planned to fly with Epstein for dinner at Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2015.
When contacted for comment, those featured in the calendar issued blanket denials of any wrongdoing.
“The director knew nothing about him other than he was presented as an expert in the financial services industry and provided general advice on transitioning to the private sector,” said CIA spokeswoman Tammy Kupperman Thorp. “They had no relationship.”
“I regret meeting Jeffrey Epstein,” Ruemmler told the Wall Street Journal. Botstein said he was just trying to get Epstein to donate to the liberal arts college.
The private calendar revealed that Botstein had about two dozen meetings scheduled with Epstein to solicit donations, and Chomsky met with Epstein in 2015 to discuss Israel’s policies toward Palestine.
“The documents do not reveal the purpose of most of the meetings,” the report said, adding: “The Wall Street Journal was unable to verify whether all scheduled meetings took place.”
As the Rolling Stone piece covered, there are many reasons to believe that Jeffrey Epstein may have been a spy.
“Four separate sources told me, on the record, that Epstein’s dealings with the arms world in the 1980s had led him to work for various governments, including the Israelis,” Vicky Ward reported.
Whether sincere or not, Epstein boasted to several people, including reporters, that he was “advising a whole variety of foreign leaders that included Vladimir Putin, Mohammed bin Zayed, Mohammed Bin Salman, various African dictators, Israel, the the British … and of course the Americans,” the report notes.
“He also told several of the same people that he was making a fortune in guns, drugs and diamonds,” the report added.
None of the names disclosed in the private calendar had previously been mentioned in Epstein’s “black book” or in the flight logs of his private jet. The meetings took place after Epstein had served prison time in 2008 for a sex offense involving a minor.
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