History of Blackmailing the Rich and Famous. Now Add Billionaire Bill Gates, According to Wall Street Journal

Was billionaire Bill Gates targeted for blackmail by a now-deceased convicted filthy rich sex offender? Blackmailing was a game often used by Jeffrey Epstein.

The national tabloids are heating up to compete against the mainstream media over the lurid details about billionaire Bill Gates’s alleged romantic affair with a Russian woman.

Blackmail has been a part of human life for centuries; ancient Rome had specific laws regarding it in both private and public life, and most likely there have been countless instances in which the blackmail never came to light due to the embarrassing aspect of the situation.

Throughout human history, everyone from courtesans to politicians, celebrities, and the mighty powerful and rich to catholic priests have been on the receiving end of attempted blackmail and some of their methods would make modern blackmailers blush.

Blackmail is relatively straightforward: the blackmailer threatens to reveal something compromising, humiliating, or potentially ruinous if a favor is not performed in exchange, which can be anything of value. Most times it involves money or an attempt to subvert a politician from running for a seat they could possibly win.

Celebrities like Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, John Travolta, Supermodel Cindy Crawford, Steven Seagal, and the wayward grandson of Billionaire John Paul Getty – all have been victimized by various forms of blackmail.

blackmailing the rich and famous
Did Jeffrey Epstein Attempt to Blackmail Bill Gates? Photo by Sex Offender Registry

Now add Billionaire Bill Gates to the A-list

According to a new Wall Street Journal report, convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein threatened Bill Gates and attempted to coerce the multibillionaire over his extramarital affair with a Russian bridge player.

Important sources familiar with the situation who spoke to the Journal, after Epstein learned about Gates’ affair with Russian bridge player Mila Antonova, he allegedly threatened Gates into reimbursing him for tuition costs he had initially covered for Antonova to attend software coding school.

Epstein threatened Gates via email in 2017 after he failed to persuade Gates to join a multibillion-dollar charity fund he attempted to establish, the sources said.

In 2006, Epstein was accused of sexually abusing females as young as 14 years old. In 2008, he pled guilty to soliciting and facilitating the prostitution of a minor, served time in a Florida penitentiary, and registered as a sexual offender.

In 2019, he was arrested again on sex trafficking charges after the Miami Herald reported that dozens of additional women claimed they had been exploited. On August 19, 2019, Epstein died in prison while awaiting trial.

Epstein sent the email after numerous unsuccessful attempts to convince Gates to participate in a charitable fund he attempted to establish with JPMorgan Chase. The implication of the message, according to those who viewed it, was that Epstein could disclose the affair if Gates did not maintain a relationship with the man.

What Gates Says

According to Gates, he and Epstein met multiple times. The WSJ reported that he had more than six scheduled encounters with Epstein, including dinners at his New York townhouse. According to flight records, Gates flew on Epstein’s private aircraft from New Jersey to Florida in March 2013.

In the same month, they also conferred with a member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee in France. In September 2014, they spent much of the day in New York City meeting other billionaires, according to the Journal. With a $100 billion net worth, Gates was one of the most recognizable names on Epstein’s calendar.

A spokeswoman for Gates told the WSJ that they convened “exclusively for philanthropic purposes.”

“Having repeatedly failed to divert Mr. Gates’ attention from these matters, Epstein unsuccessfully attempted to use a previous relationship to threaten Mr. Gates.”

The Woman

In November 2013, Antonova and Nikolic convened at Epstein’s townhouse, where she requested $500,000 for her bridge startup, BridgePlanet. Antonova stated that Epstein did not invest in the initiative. In November 2014, Antonova resided in a New York City apartment provided by Epstein.

She stated that she decided to become a software developer after failing to obtain funding for her venture. Epstein consented to contribute to the cost of a programming boot camp.

The Journal further reported that a spokesperson for Gates stated that Epstein never worked for Gates and misrepresented their relationship in communications with J.P. Morgan and others.

Epstein Blackmailing Actions

After Gates’ extramarital affair ended in 2017, Epstein emailed Gates about Antonova, according to sources familiar with the matter quoted by the Journal. In the email, Epstein requested reimbursement from Gates for Antonova’s coding school expenses.

“The tone of the message suggested that Epstein was aware of the affair and could expose it,” the Journal reported, adding that a Gates spokesperson stated that the Microsoft founder “had no financial dealings with Epstein.”

Epstein was attempting to establish a charitable fund with JPMorgan that would be funded by some of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Documents reveal that he proposed that JPMorgan establish the fund with a minimum $100 million contribution per individual and pay him millions of dollars in fees.

Further Tarnishing a Tarnished Reputation

Epstein viewed the fund as a means of repairing his tarnished reputation, according to those with whom he shared his thoughts, as reported by the WSJ: “It hinged on securing support from Gates, the documents show.”

Gates and others never contributed to the charitable fund, so it was never established. If this is true, it seems Epstein was not very good at blackmailing.

According to individuals with knowledge of the situation, Epstein emailed Gates in 2017 about the Russian bridge player, years after their relationship had ended. The email requested reimbursement for Antonova’s coding school, according to the sources.

Bill Gates with Steve Jobs
Bill Gates with Steve Jobs

People stated that the message implied Epstein knew about the affair and could disclose it.

Gates did not make a payment, according to his spokesperson. “Mr. Gates had no financial dealings with Mr. Epstein.”

News media outlets reported that U.S. Virgin Islands filed a 30-page federal lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase in New York on December 27, 2022, accusing the bank of having “facilitated, sustained, and concealed” Epstein’s human trafficking network. Elon Musk, proprietor of Twitter, and Larry Page, co-founder of Google, are among those subpoenaed by the Virgin Islands for case-related documents.

Clarence Walker
As an analyst and researcher for the PI industry and a business consultant, Clarence Walker is a veteran writer, crime reporter and investigative journalist. He began his writing career with New York-based True Crime Magazines in Houston Texas in 1983, publishing more than 300 feature stories. He wrote for the Houston Chronicle (This Week Neighborhood News and Op-Eds) including freelancing for Houston Forward Times.Working as a paralegal for a reputable law firm, he wrote for National Law Journal, a publication devoted to legal issues and major court decisions. As a journalist writing for internet publishers, Walker's work can be found at American Mafia.com, Gangster Inc., Drug War Chronicle, Drug War101 and Alternet.His latest expansion is to News Break.Six of Walker's crime articles were re-published into a paperback series published by Pinnacle Books. One book titled: Crimes Of The Rich And Famous, edited by Rose Mandelsburg, garnered considerable favorable ratings. Gale Publisher also re-published a story into its paperback series that he wrote about the Mob: Is the Mafia Still a Force in America?Meanwhile this dedicated journalist wrote criminal justice issues and crime pieces for John Walsh's America's Most Wanted Crime Magazine, a companion to Walsh blockbuster AMW show. If not working PI cases and providing business intelligence to business owners, Walker operates a writing service for clients, then serves as a crime historian guest for the Houston-based Channel 11TV show called the "Cold Case Murder Series" hosted by reporter Jeff McShan.At NewsBlaze, Clarence Walker expands his writing abilities to include politics, human interest and world events.Clarence Walker can be reached at: [email protected]