But the Microsoft mogul may have been looking for another edge in networking with Epstein: Gates was hoping the well-connected pervert could help him get the Nobel Peace Prize, a former Gates Foundation employee told The Daily Beast.
This person said members of the foundation’s communications team were alerted to Gates’ relationship with Epstein and were told “it was a ploy to try and win a Nobel Peace Prize.” . They said the tech mogul has even kept some employees on call on award day in recent years, just in case he gets the accolade.
“We were aware of things that posed potential reputational risks to the foundation and the co-chairs, Bill and Melinda,” said the former employee. “Even then people knew this guy wasn’t very clean,” the person said, referring to Epstein.
– Former employee of the Gates Foundation
“The [Gates] thought Jeffrey would be able to help him, that he would know the right people, or some sort of way to massage things, so he could get the Nobel Peace Prize, which Bill wants more than anyone else thing in the world, ”the staff member said.
“I think he was ultimately disappointed that it didn’t work out,” the person added.
Epstein was known to cultivate a rolodex of elite contacts from around the world: billionaires, royals, celebrities, prominent politicians and scientists, including Nobel Laureates Frank Wilczek, Gerald Edelman and Murray Gell-Mann . The fund manager has also opened various “nonprofit organizations” over the years to refer millions of people to his friends’ projects and to fund research at institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University. from Harvard. Researchers continued to take Epstein’s money despite numerous reports of his abuse of underage girls and young women.
The former staff member’s claim that Gates thought Epstein was his ticket to the prestigious award adds fuel to a Norwegian newspaper report last year that highlighted a 2013 reunion with Gates, Epstein and then chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjørn Jagland.
A spokesperson for Bill Gates, however, denied that the billionaire philanthropist was seeking Epstein’s help to secure the prize.
“While a Nobel Prize would certainly be a great honor, it is wrong to assert that Bill Gates was ‘obsessed’ with this honor, to set it as a goal or to campaign for it in any way,” he said. the spokesperson told the Daily Beast. “If Epstein had a plan or motivation to fit into any award or honor related processes on Gates’ behalf, neither Gates nor anyone he works with was aware of his intentions and they would have rejected any offers. help. “
Since the announcement of his divorce this month, Gates has faced a torrent of scrutiny over his ties to Epstein, whom he has met dozens of times after Epstein went to jail for soliciting a minor and had to register as a sex offender. During the weekend, Le New York Times and The Wall Street Journal published reports on Gates’ alleged history of punching employees and his extramarital affair with a Microsoft engineer.
“It was no secret within the foundation that he had alliances,” the former foundation employee told The Daily Beast. Regarding Melinda’s attitude towards infidelity, the employee added, “I don’t think that’s a permissive wink at all. I think she was humiliated and didn’t like it.
According to People, Bill and Melinda Gates will continue to be co-chairs of their foundation, even though they share their $ 130 billion in marital assets, due to their shared ambition for the Nobel Prize. A source told the magazine: “They were really interested in trying to win a Nobel Prize. So one thing that was part of that is if it gets worse, that ends it. It seems that this is the order of the day, and it is for both. “
Bill Gates may have had the award in mind in March 2013, when he and Epstein reportedly visited Jagland’s home in Strasbourg, France.
The date was revealed by Today’s business, Norway’s largest business newspaper, in an October 2020 report. At the time of the meeting, Jagland was chairman of the Peace Prize committee, and Gates was a potential candidate for the honor.
The meeting also included members of the International Peace Institute (IPI) – a think tank led by former Norwegian diplomat Terje Rød-Larsen whom Epstein’s secret association lavished with a donation of $ 375,000 in 2017. (Rød-Larsen resigned from the New York-based IPI last October, after it was revealed that his group received $ 650,000 in donations from Epstein, who also gave him a personal loan of $ 130,000. )
According to DN, Jagland said Gates and Epstein arrived at the Strasbourg meeting together, and Epstein presented Gates to the IPI for a “polio eradication project.” Rød-Larsen did not attend the meeting but is a longtime friend of Jagland.
Rød-Larsen also had long-standing ties to Epstein, who issued press releases touting his support for the IPI as he worked to rehabilitate his image following his 2008 conviction in Palm Beach, Florida. (As the Daily Beast reported on Sunday, Gates allegedly encouraged Epstein to revamp his reputation in the media.)
In an e-mail to DN, Jagland claimed that Gates asked to meet him while he was in France and that their discussion was not about the Nobel, but about the work of the Council of Europe’s human rights organization on the counterfeit vaccines. When asked if he thought it was a conflict to socialize with a possible Nobel Prize winner, Jagland told the newspaper: “Bill Gates was not nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. . “
Shortly after the Strasbourg rally, the Gates Foundation awarded the IPI millions of dollars; Records on the foundation’s website show that the IPI received a grant of $ 2.5 million in October 2013, $ 5.5 million in March 2014, and $ 256,968 in June 2019 and July 2020. .
And, in September 2013, Bill and Melinda Gates spoke at the “Eighth Annual IPI Middle East Ministerial Working Dinner”. A summary of the event says the couple were “special guests” who “discussed their foundation’s ongoing efforts to eradicate polio and cited the link between health and safety.
Asked about Gates’ meeting with the chairman of the Nobel committee, a spokesperson for the billionaire directed the Daily Beast to a 2019 statement, which read: “Several high-level people have suggested that Bill Gates meet with Epstein because he claimed to be able to bring billions of dollars to philanthropy based on his status as an agent and adviser to high net worth individuals on their giving strategies.
“With the prospect of helping catalyze a significant increase in charitable giving, Gates has met with Epstein and others on several occasions to discuss philanthropy and the work of his foundation. Although Epstein aggressively pursued Gates, Gates had absolutely no business partnership or personal friendship with Epstein. Gates never socialized with Epstein or attended parties with him.
“It became clear that Epstein twisted the nature of his encounters with Gates while also struggling to fit behind the scenes without Gates’ knowledge. Bill Gates regrets ever having met Epstein and admits it was an error in judgment to do so.
The Strasbourg meeting may not have been Gates’ only overseas visit with Epstein.
In August 2019, French media Franceinfo reported on a list of famous visitors to Epstein’s Paris apartment, which at least once included Bill and Melinda, according to the financier’s former butler. A spokesperson for Melinda Gates told the Daily Beast that Melinda had never been to Epstein’s Paris home.
In the spring of 2013, Epstein and his friend Lawrence Krauss appeared to be touting Gates’ appearance during a future panel at Arizona State University in 2014.
Krauss, a theoretical physicist who led ASU’s Origins Project and left college amid allegations of sexual misconduct, dropped Gates in an email to a potential panelist for the event, who was then canceled. (Epstein had donated $ 250,000 to Project Origins, while his pal, billionaire backer Leon Black, donated $ 2 million, according to Buzzfeed.)
In an e-mail obtained by the Daily mail, Krauss indicated that Epstein was hosting a panel on “The Origins of Money” and that “at the moment he has Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Larry Summers on board.” Through a spokesperson, Branson denied having anything to do with the event, while Summers apparently did not comment on the article.
Reached by The Daily Beast, Krauss will only say that the panel never happened. “Since I don’t know Gates or those people, I can’t comment,” he said.
– with additional reporting by William Bredderman