Convicted s3x trafficker Jeffrey Epstein reportedly blackmailed Bill Gates and threatened to expose his alleged affair with a Russian bridge player.
The late paedophile threatened to expose the Microsoft co-founder’s supposed affair with Mila Antonova if Mr Gates didn’t reimburse him for tuition costs that Epstein had initially covered for the woman to attend a software coding school, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Epstein blackmailed Mr Gates in the form of an email in 2017, the report claims, after he failed to convince the world’s fourth richest man to join a multibillion-dollar charity fund that he attempted to set up with JPMorgan Chase.
The bombshell report adds weight to longstanding speculation that Epstein may have been extorting his powerful network of friends.
According to the WSJ report, the implication behind the message was that Epstein could reveal the affair if Mr Gates didn’t keep up an association between the two men.
“Mr 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 Mr Gates,” a spokesperson for the Gates Foundation told the Journal.
The Microsoft co-founder reportedly met Ms Antonova around 2010, when she was in her 20s. In a YouTube video posted that year, she spoke about meeting Mr Gates at a bridge tournament and playing against him.
“I didn’t beat him but I tried to kick him with my leg,” Ms Antonova said in the video.
According to the Journal, Ms Antonova was trying to secure funds in order to establish an online bridge tutorial business. She was introduced to Epstein through Boris Nikolic, a close adviser to Mr Gates.
Ms Antonova and Mr Nikolic met Epstein at his townhouse in November 2013 in New York City, where she reportedly sought $500,000 for her initiative to “promote bridge by creating quality tutorials for beginners and advanced players”.
Epstein did not invest in her project but she went on to stay at one of his apartments in New York a year later. He later paid for Ms Antonova to attend software coding school.
While she was looking to set up her initiative, Epstein was attempting to establish his charitable fund with JPMorgan, which would require the multi-billionaires to make a minimum $100m contribution.
Ms Antonova, in a statement to the Journal, said she didn’t know who Epstein was when they met. “I had no idea that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive,” she said of Epstein.
“I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help. I am disgusted with Epstein and what he did.”
The bridge player declined to comment about Mr Gates.
In 2006, Epstein was accused of sexually abusing minors as young as 14 and pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a minor for prostitution.