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Since Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy in July, billionaire Bill Gates has downplayed his relationship with the late financier.
Now, contrary to Gates' assertion last month that he and Epstein "didn't have any business relationship or friendship," The New York Times reports that the two met multiple times beginning in 2011, and at least three times at Epstein's Manhattan residence.
One meeting included billionaire Eva Andersson-Dubin and her then-teenage daughter. The family has been closely linked to Epstein since Dubin dated Epstein in the 1980s, though they've attempted to distance themselves in recent months.
In an email obtained by The Times that Gates sent to colleagues after he met Epstein face-to-face for the first time, he noted that "a very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late."
Epstein also reportedly met with teams from Gates' charity, pitching an idea that would involve seed money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the bank JPMorgan Chase.
New details and documents obtained by The New York Times reveal a much closer connection between Bill Gates and the late Jeffrey Epstein than what the Microsoft founder had previously admitted.
The Times reported that the billionaire met with the disgraced financier at least three times. Epstein also hatched a plan with JPMorgan, which never came to fruition, to use Gates' foundation money for a charitable fund.
Gates spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold told Business Insider in a statement that the men met "multiple times" to discuss philanthropy, but they did not socialize or attend parties together. She also said it appears that "Epstein misrepresented the nature of his meetings with Gates while also working to insert himself behind-the-scenes without Gates's knowledge."
She did not say say how many times Gates and Epstein met.
"Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognizes it was an error in judgment to do so," Arnold said. "Gates recognizes that entertaining Epstein's ideas related to philanthropy gave Epstein an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates' personal values and the values of his foundation."
She told Business Insider in August that, while Epstein aggressively pursued a relationship with Gates, "any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is categorically false."
The disgraced financier went to jail for 13 months starting in 2008 after he pled guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from underage girls in Palm Beach, Florida. The Times reports that the two first met face-to-face in January 2011 at Epstein's Manhattan residence, and that Gates visited the townhouse at least two more times, meeting him as late as 2013.
During that first meeting on the Upper East Side in 2011, the two wealthy men were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin and her 15-year-old daughter. Dubin, who once dated Epstein, and her billionaire hedge fund manager husband Glenn Dubin maintained close social, financial and philanthropic ties with Epstein, including after he went to jail. Six sources told Business Insider that Epstein was a godfather to their oldest daughter, which the family denies.
Spokespeople for the Dubins have previously said the family spent less time with Epstein after he left jail in 2009, and if they had known about this year's allegations, they would have cut ties with him. Representatives for the Dubins declined to comment on Saturday about The Times' story.
After the meeting, Epstein emailed friends and associates to boast, writing "Bill's great" in one email reviewed by The Times. In an email Gates sent to his own colleagues the next day, he wrote, "A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late."
Epstein hatched a plan to work with the Gates Foundation and JPMorgan, but it fizzled out years before his 2019 arrest
A source close to Epstein told Business Insider that Epstein and Gates liked to talk about science and philanthropy together, and said their relationship preceded 2013. The source said Epstein liked to work with senior businessmen at the end of their careers, and that Epstein's dynamic personality often reminded those men of the son they wished they had, or even of themselves at a younger age.
Gates flew on Epstein's private plane in 2013 from New Jersey to Palm Beach, according to flight logs released in connection with an Epstein-related case. Epstein has a large home in Palm Beach, and often flew friends, including the Dubins, on his plane. A spokeswoman for Gates told The Times that Gates was not aware it was Epstein's plane.
Epstein also sought to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to The Times. He wanted to join the foundation's efforts with JPMorgan as the groups created the Global Health Investment Fund.
He also wanted to start a separate charitable fund, seeded with Gates Foundation money, to focus on global health projects. Epstein would bring in more donations, which would earn him fees potentially in the tens of millions.
Gates' spokeswoman told The Times that the foundation was not aware of the fee, but that he "did propose to Bill Gates and then foundation officials ideas that he promised would unleash hundreds of billions for global health-related work."
Foundation employees visited his New York mansion multiple times, per The Times. Some, after learning that he was a sex offender, were wary of damaging the foundation's reputation. One team was incredulous of Epstein's claims of having access to trillions of dollars that could go in the charitable fund.
The JPMorgan fund work never came to fruition. At least two senior Gates Foundation employees stayed in contact with Epstein until late 2017, The Times reported.
"Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein's capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued," Arnold told Business Insider.