Things to envy about Bill Gates: His bank account, his intelligence, his Porsche collection, his philanthropy, his rugged good looks. Things not to envy about Bill Gates: The public scrutiny that his divorce, specifically the alleged contentious nature of it, is getting. The former certainly makes the latter palatable (I mean, I would think, can’t speak from experience here), but also it looks sometimes preferable not to be famous. 

Speaking of, according to a report from The Daily Beast, Bill and his wife Melinda had a meeting with Jeffrey Epstein at the financier’s New York City townhouse in September 2013. Epstein’s impression on Melinda was apparently bad enough that she told Bill not to associate with him any further, with the sources who spoke to The Beast saying Melinda was “furious” after the meeting. It’s not clear if Melinda was outraged by Epstein’s past conviction or if she simply didn’t like him. Obviously, those are two very different things. 

“He just was an obnoxious guy. He almost made a point of having bad manners, not paying attention at dinner,” a source told The Daily Beast. “I could see how anybody, even without suspicions, would not want to be around him.”

Epstein, a convicted pedophile, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail in 2019 after being incarcerated on sex trafficking charges. 

Though it’s nowhere near evidence of illegal behavior, a New York Times report says that Gates and Epstein had a relationship that dated back to 2011, meeting several times between that year and 2013. A pair of associates of Gates’ served as intermediaries between the two. It was also reported that Epstein tried to get JPMorgan and the Gates foundation on board with a new charitable fund. Flight records say that Gates, like many other rich and famous people, was a passenger on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” private jet, taking it from New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida. A spokeswoman for Gates said he did not know that Epstein owned the plane. 

“I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him,” said Gates in September 2019 after being one of the powerful figures to face scrutiny for his ties to Epstein in the wake of his death. 

“I didn’t go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or any of that,” he continued. “There were people around him who were saying, ‘Hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people.”

The Microsoft co-founder added, “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.”

As for how this circles back to Melinda, citing friends of the couple, the new report says her husband’s relationship with Epstein still haunts her.

Not having to worry about getting out in front, national PR, or headlines during a divorce is one of the perks of being a nobody. You can read more at The Daily Beast.