Bill Gates' was friends with Jeffrey Epstein because he wanted to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the DailyBeast reported.
Gates reportedly turned a blind eye to the convicted pedophile's reputation as he pursued the Prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize "is what Bill wants more than anything else in the world," an ex-staffer said.
Bill Gates turned a blind eye to Jeffrey Epstein's sex crimes conviction because he hoped the well-connected financier would help him secure the Nobel Peace Prize, a former employee of the Gates Foundation told the DailyBeast.
The ex-staffer told the DailyBeast that the Foundation's communication team was aware Gates' meetings with Epstein could have "reputational risks," however they were told it "was a maneuver to try to get Gates a Nobel Peace Prize."
"Even back then, people knew this guy [Epstein] wasn't squeaky clean," the staffer, who was kept anonymous, told the DailyBeast.
"He [Gates] thought that Jeffrey would be able to help him, that he would know the right people or some kind of way to massage things, so he could get the Nobel Peace Prize," they added.
Gates started meeting with Epstein in 2011, three years after the powerful financier was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Melinda Gates reportedly strongly objected to her husband's meetings with the financier.
According to the former employee, the Nobel Peace Prize "is what Bill wants more than anything else in the world," The DailyBeast reported. In previous years, the Microsoft co-founder reportedly kept some employees on call on prize day in case he was awarded the ultimate accolade.
"I think he was ultimately disappointed it didn't work out," the former staffer added.
The report comes several months after Norwegian newspaper DNMagasinet reported that in March 2013, Epstein had accompanied Gates to the home of then-Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland in Strasbourg, France. Gates was being touted as a recipient of the prestigious award at the time.
A spokesperson for Gates told the DailyBeast: "While a Nobel Prize would certainly be a great honor, it is false to state that Bill Gates was 'obsessed' with the honor, set it as a goal, or campaigned for it in any way.
"If Epstein had a plan or motivation to insert himself into any processes related to any awards or honors on behalf of Gates, neither Gates nor anyone he works with was aware of his intentions and they would have rejected any offers for assistance," they added.
Since his divorce announcement this month, Gates has faced a torrent of scrutiny over his ties to Epstein and his alleged previous relationships with other women.
Epstein killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal charges related to sex trafficking.
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