Bill Gates’ friendship with notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was reportedly part of the reason for his divorce from wife Melinda, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The multi-billionaire couple announced their divorce last week in a joint statement posted on Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Gates’ friendship with the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender did not sit well with his wife of 27 years.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Melinda Gates began working with divorce lawyers more than a year ago, with her unease over her husband’s friendship with Epstein dating back as far as 2013.
The Wall Street Journal’s source, a former employee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, told the publication Melinda Gates was not comfortable with Epstein after meeting him in 2013.
However, her husband continued a relationship with Epstein despite his wife’s concerns.
The New York Times reported in 2019 that Gates and Epstein met up on numerous social occasions and on one occasion the Microsoft billionaire had stayed at Epstein’s New York townhouse.
Gates told The Wall Street Journal in 2019 that he had met Epstein but “didn’t didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him”.
Microsoft spokeswoman Bridgitt Arnold told The New York Times that their meetings had revolved purely around philanthropy.
“Bill Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgment to do so,” Arnold said in 2019.
Days before Epstein died, he named venture capitalist Boris Nikolic as a backup executor of his will.
Nikolic has worked as a science advisor to Bill Gates.
After Epstein’s death, Nikolic sent an email statement to Bloomberg saying that Epstein had not consulted him about the will and he would not be fulfilling the role of executor.
The Gates’ Twitter statement did not go into specifics about why they were deciding to split.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the statement reads.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
Bill and Melinda met at Microsoft and began dating in 1987 following a trade fair in New York.
They married in Hawaii in 1994 after Bill Gates, according to Melinda, weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard.
Together, they have three children; Jennifer, Phoebe and Rory Gates.