In the wake of a bombshell announcement that Bill Gates is getting divorced from his wife of decades, the tech billionaire has faced mounting scrutiny over behavior including connections to the late Jeffrey Epstein even after the disgraced financier had been convicted of sex crimes.
Now, one source is claiming that Bill Gates believed an association with Epstein could be his path to securing a coveted Nobel Peace Prize.
“More than anything else in the world”
The Daily Beast cited an unnamed ex-staffer who laid out the alleged plan linked to the Gates’ philanthropic organization.
“We were aware of things that were potential reputational risks for the foundation and the co-chairs, Bill and Melinda,” the individual claimed. “Even back then, people knew [Epstein] wasn’t squeaky clean.”
Nevertheless, Bill Gates “thought that Jeffrey would be able to help him, that he would know the right people, or some kind of way to massage things,” ultimately leading to the prestigious prize, according to his former employee.
In the end, the source said Gates “was ultimately disappointed” that he did not end up with the accolade that he “wants more than anything else in the world.”
For his part, a spokesperson for the Microsoft co-founder insisted that he was not “obsessed” with taking home a Nobel Prize, noting that it “would certainly be a great honor” but Gates has not “campaigned for it in any way.”
“He knows a lot of rich people”
Furthermore, the spokesperson asserted that “neither Gates nor anyone he works with was aware” of any plans Epstein might have had “to insert himself into any processes related to any awards or honors on behalf” of the tech titan.
Whatever the end goal might have been, it is clear that Gates is facing a public relations backlash over his connections to the sex offender.
Also coming to light in the aftermath of the divorce announcement are claims that Gates sought out extramarital affairs with women who worked for him during his marriage.
As the Daily Beast reported earlier this month, Bill Gates met with Epstein as late as September 2013 over the objections of his now-estranged wife.
In 2019, he addressed the brewing controversy surrounding those meetings with Epstein, explaining: “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.'”