Jeffrey Epstein allegedly threatened Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates with details on the tech billionaire’s alleged affair with a Russian bridge player, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes,” a spokeswoman for Gates told WSJ. “Having failed repeatedly to draw Mr. Gates beyond these matters, Epstein tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Mr. Gates.”
Gates met Russian bridge player Mila Antonova in 2010, when she was in her 20s and Gates in his mid-50s, at a bridge tournament where the two played against each other, according to the Journal. Antonova is originally from Russia, but moved to the U.S. and began working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, according to her LinkedIn.
Antonova publicly discussed meeting the tech billionaire in a 2010 video detailing that she “didn’t beat” Gates, but “tried to kick him with my leg,” according to WSJ. Gates is a noted lover of the game of bridge and has even competed against fellow billionaire Warren Buffett.
“I deeply regret that I ever met Epstein,” Nikolic highlighted to the outlet. “His crimes were despicable. I never saw anything like his illegal behavior. My heart goes out to his victims and their families.”
The following November, Antonova stayed at an apartment provided by Epstein, but “didn’t interact with him or with anyone else while there,” she said. By that year, she had decided to become a software engineer and was looking for donors to help pay for programing classes.
Gates and Epstein had met a handful of times before Epstein’s death in 2019, which Gates later said he regrets. In emails reviewed by WSJ, Epstein sent emails to JPMorgan trying to give the impression he was an adviser to Gates. The tech billionaire’s spokeswoman told the outlet that Epstein never worked for Gates and misrepresented their relationship to JPMorgan.
March 28, 2017, photo of Jeffrey Epstein provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry. (AP, File)
The fund stalled and ultimately went nowhere.
“The firm didn’t need him as a client,” a JPMorgan spokesman told WSJ of Epstein. “The firm didn’t need him for introductions. Knowing what we know today, we wish we had never done business with him.”
“Mr. Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein,” the spokeswoman said.
Sources said the cost of the classes were irrelevant to both men, but that the tone of the email showed Epstein was aware of the alleged affair and could expose Gates.