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The First Meeting

Two members of Mr. Gates’s inner circle — Boris Nikolic and Melanie Walker — were close to Mr. Epstein and at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men.

Ms. Walker met Mr. Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. Mr. Epstein, who was an adviser to Mr. Wexner, the owner of Victoria’s Secret, told Ms. Walker that he could land her an audition for a modeling job there, according to Ms. Walker. She later moved to New York and stayed in a Manhattan apartment building that Mr. Epstein owned. After she graduated from medical school, she said, Mr. Epstein hired her as a science adviser in 1998.

Ms. Walker later met Steven Sinofsky, a senior executive at Microsoft who became president of its Windows division, and moved to Seattle to be with him. In 2006, she joined the Gates Foundation with the title of senior program officer.




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At the foundation, Ms. Walker met and befriended Mr. Nikolic, a native of what is now Croatia and a former fellow at Harvard Medical School who was the foundation’s science adviser. Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates frequently traveled and socialized together.

Ms. Walker, who had remained in close touch with Mr. Epstein, introduced him to Mr. Nikolic, and the men became friendly.

Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates first met face to face on the evening of Jan. 31, 2011, at Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side. They were joined by Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden whom Mr. Epstein had once dated, and her 15-year-old daughter. (Dr. Andersson-Dubin’s husband, the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, was a friend and business associate of Mr. Epstein’s. The Dubins declined to comment.)

The gathering started at 8 and lasted several hours, according to Ms. Arnold, Mr. Gates’s spokeswoman. Mr. Epstein subsequently boasted about the meeting in emails to friends and associates. “Bill’s great,” he wrote in one, reviewed by The Times.

Mr. Gates, in turn, praised Mr. Epstein’s charm and intelligence. Emailing colleagues the next day, he said: “A very attractive Swedish woman and her daughter dropped by and I ended up staying there quite late.”

Mr. Gates soon saw Mr. Epstein again. At a TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., attendees spotted the two men engaged in private conversation.

Later that spring, on May 3, 2011, Mr. Gates again visited Mr. Epstein at his New York mansion, according to emails about the meeting and a photograph reviewed by The Times.

The photo, taken in Mr. Epstein’s marble-clad entrance hall, shows a beaming Mr. Epstein — in blue-and-gold slippers and a fleece decorated with an American flag — flanked by luminaries. On his right: James E. Staley, at the time a senior JPMorgan executive, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. On his left: Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates, smiling and wearing gray slacks and a navy sweater.

Flying to Florida

Mr. Gates and Mr. Epstein kept seeing each other. Ms. Arnold would not say how many times the two had met.

In March 2013, Mr. Gates flew on Mr. Epstein’s Gulfstream plane from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Fla., according to a flight manifest. Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates — who has his own $40 million jet — hadn’t been aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane.

Six months later, Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Gates were in New York for a meeting related to Schrödinger, a pharmaceutical software company in which Mr. Gates had a large investment. On that trip, Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates met for dinner and discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy, Ms. Arnold said.

And in October 2014, Mr. Gates donated $2 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. University officials described the gift in internal emails as having been “directed” by Mr. Epstein. Ms. Arnold said, “There was no intention, nor explicit ask, for the funding to be controlled in any manner by Epstein.”

Soon after, the relationship between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Gates appears to have cooled. The charitable fund that had been discussed with the Gates Foundation never materialized. Mr. Epstein complained to an acquaintance at the end of 2014 that Mr. Gates had stopped talking to him, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

The relationship, however, wasn’t entirely severed. At least two senior Gates Foundation officials maintained contacts with Mr. Epstein until late 2017, according to former foundation employees.

Ms. Arnold said the foundation was not aware of any such contact. “Over time, Gates and his team realized Epstein’s capabilities and ideas were not legitimate and all contact with Epstein was discontinued,” she said.

Days before Mr. Epstein hanged himself in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, he amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic as a fallback executor in the event that one of the two primary executors was unable to serve. (Mr. Nikolic has declined in court proceedings to serve as executor.)

Mr. Nikolic, who is now running a venture capital firm with Mr. Gates as one of his investors, said he was “shocked” to be named in Mr. Epstein’s will. He said in a statement to The Times: “I deeply regret ever meeting Mr. Epstein.”

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein That Bill Gates Now ‘Regrets’.



wsj.com→In Bill Gates’s Mind, a Life of Processing(2019年9月10日)

You’ve recently been in the news for another reason: You’re one of many high-profile wealthy people alleged to have had an association with Jeffrey Epstein. One report said you met with him after he pleaded guilty to prostitution-related charges in 2008. Can you describe your relationship with him?

I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him. I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that. There were people around him who were saying, hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people. Every meeting where I was with him were meetings with men. I was never at any parties or anything like that. He never donated any money to anything that I know about.

nytimes.com→Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein(2019年9月7日)

nytimes.com→Jeffrey Epstein Dead in Suicide at Jail, Spurring Inquiries(2019年8月10日)

nytimes.com→JPMorgan Kept Jeffrey Epstein as a Client Despite Internal Warnings(2019年8月8日)

nytimes.com→Jeffrey Epstein’s Deep Ties to Top Wall Street Figures(2019年7月22日)

nytimes.com→The Unraveling of Jeffrey Epstein(2019年7月16日)

nytimes.com→Jeffrey Epstein Was a Sex Offender. The Powerful Welcomed Him Anyway.(2019年7月13日)