Melinda Gates told her peers that she felt uneasy when she first met late financier and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
According to the Daily Beast, Gates was dissatisfied with her husband Bill's friendship with Epstein and telling her friends that she didn't want anything to do with the him. Epstein, according to friends of the Gates', still haunts her.
Gates reportedly first visited Epstein with her husband in New York City in 2013, on the same day the pair won the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award at the Pierre Hotel.
Gates' criticism of Epstein was unsurprising, said an associate of the Gates' in the tech industry who attended parties where Epstein was also a guest.
"He just was an obnoxious guy. He almost made a point of having bad manners, not paying attention at dinner … I could see how anybody, even without suspicions, would not want to be around him," the associate described Epstein.
Epstein reportedly claimed to be a tax consultant for Microsoft, according to a New York Times article in 2019, although a company spokesperson later refuted that assertion. Another story from the newspaper that same year reported that Bill started meeting Epstein in 2011 and did so on multiple occasions. Epstein allegedly discussed philanthropy projects with Bill and tried to pitch a new charitable fund to the Gates Foundation and managers at JPMorgan, according to the Times.
"If you ask Bill Gates [about Epstein's sex abuse], he'll say, 'Oh I had absolutely no idea he wasn't up to anything of the highest moral character.' But I seriously doubted Epstein's moral character," the anonymous associate told the Daily Beast.
"The people around him [Epstein] had a varying spectrum of what they knew and what they didn't know and how they rationalised it," the associate added.
Bill was criticised over his connection with Epstein following the financier's arrest in July 2019. Epstein was charged with sex trafficking and died in prison later that year.
"I met him. I didn't have any business relationship or friendship with him," Bill said in September 2019, as quoted by the publication. "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."
The remarks arrive just days after the couple's divorce announcement. Bill revealed on Twitter on Monday that he and Melinda Gates were divorcing after 27 years of marriage