After uber-rich couple Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce last week, rumours have swirled as to the real reason behind the separation.
The New York Times reported on their unusual friendship in 2019; unusual because it began after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes and made a registered sex offender, the Times said.
Mr Gates since denied the extent of the relationship, despite records and eye-witnesses placing him at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse several times since 2011.
Whatever the finer details of their relationship, it was enough for Ms Gates to tell her lawyer her marriage was “irretrievably broken”, in October 2019 (the same month the Times article was published).
According to the Journal, Ms Gates had been uneasy about the relationship between her husband and the disgraced financier Epstein since 2013.
Epstein took his own life in August 2019 in prison, while awaiting trial on more sex trafficking charges.
His associate and former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in jail awaiting trial on related charges.
The Gates come to a close
Bill and Melinda Gates last week called it quits on their marriage of 27 years, saying they could no longer grow together.
They met when she was working for Microsoft, and beat him at a maths game.
The couple’s sprawling Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is easily the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $US50 billion ($64 billion).
It has focused on global health and development and US education issues since incorporating in 2000.
Those with hindsight have also revealed signs of the couple’s struggle in Ms Gates’ 2019 memoir, The Moment of Lift.
She wrote that it was “hard to be heard” when she was standing next to her multibillionaire husband.
“I told him that there are some issues where my voice can make an impact, and in those cases, I should be speaking – separately or along with him,” she wrote, referencing work with their joint foundation.
“It got hot. We both got angry. It was a big test for us – not about how you come to agreement but about what you do when you can’t agree. And we took a long time to agree.”