Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Jeffrey Epstein: Many third-person names have been thrown up in speculation following the announcement of the Gates' divorce, touted to be among the most expensive separations in recent times. Though most accusations have targeted women - namely Ann Winblad and Zhe Wang - as catalysts for the breakup, the latest to be accused is a man linked to the Microsoft CEO. More unusually, a dead man.
Jeffrey Epstein, top-brass American financier and convicted sex offender who reportedly died by suicide in prison in 2019, held ties to Bill Gates. That, reports show, was a point of contention between the Gateses and perhaps sounded the first publicly known death knell for their decades-long marriage.
As per a piece in The New York Times in 2019, Gates and Epstein's relationship went as far back as 2011 when the two men first met. Subsequent meetings indicated that a possible partnership was under deliberation. There was alleged talk of Epstein's interest in philanthropy with the Gateses, who are prominent for running the world's largest private charitable foundation.
"I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him," the Microsoft CEO was quoted saying in 2019. Associates of the tech magnate further stated that he was not inclined towards giving Epstein "an undeserved platform that was at odds with Gates’s personal values and the values of his foundation."
That year, however, Melinda Gates met with divorce lawyers.
Melinda Gates And Jeffrey Epstein: Polar Forces, In Ideology And Action
Melinda Gates is counted among the world's leading philanthropists with a billions-worth effort over the years towards global empowerment of women and girls. The former Microsoft General Manager has travelled the expanse of continents, from Africa to Asia, to oversee tangible support and distribution of wealth from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for women's education, rights and independence.
Her work puts her at a polar end to Epstein, who was convicted of sex crimes and underage girl trafficking that affected multiple women adversely prior to his death. The disgraced social personality had faced charges in more than one criminal case. Nevertheless, Epstein was famous for his association with topguns across industries.
Among them was Bill Gates too apparently.
NYT, in their 2019 piece, also mentioned that Bill Gates' links to Epstein had emerged in the aftermath of the latter's criminal accusations that drew back to as early as 2005. As relayed by a spokesperson, the ties were regretted as "an error in judgment" for Gates.
A fresh report by the Wall Street Journal claims Melinda Gates, in the din of shockwaves the Gates-Epstein link prompted in 2019, began consulting divorce lawyers in October of that year. Sources claim she had raised serious concerns to her then-husband as far back as 2013 after they met Epstein together.
Talk of dividing the Gates empire between the two had reportedly begun being exchanged in 2019, as per documents accessed by WSJ, with Melinda Gates deeming her marriage "irretrievably broken." Legal teams on both sides are starry, with names like Ronald Olson and Robert Stephan Cohen involved.
The Gates divorce filing is dated May 3, the same day the couple issued public statements of their separation. That was also the day Bill Gates' mammoth asset Cascade Investments shook up finances worth over $2 billion, transferred to his former wife, making her a billionaire.
Though a reason beyond the couple not being able to "grow together" in their relationship anymore hasn't been mentioned in the statement they issued, experts asserted that given the fortune at stake, it was inconceivable the Gates wouldn't already have planned 90 percent of the divorce before putting the word out in public.