Dangerous Liaisons: One of Bill Gates' Top Advisers Was Originally Epstein's Protégé, Reports Say
06:52 GMT 09.08.2021 (Updated: 07:00 GMT 09.08.2021)
Previous reports suggested that the Microsoft founder had flown on Epstein's plane at least once, and visited his infamous mansion several times. Gates slammed the disgraced billionaire, stressing "it was a mistake to spend time with him". But it appears there are less obvious links between them.
Jeffrey Epstein helped a young neuroscientist, who later became a top adviser to Bill Gates, Rolling Stone has reported. According to the magazine, neurosurgeon Melanie S. Walker, who became a rising star in the Gates foundation and later a senior adviser at the World Bank, was actually Epstein's protégé.
The young woman from a working-class Texas family, with no connections in the establishment, met Epstein in New York in 1992, when he reportedly approached her in the main dining room of the Plaza Hotel.
© AP Photo / Elizabeth Williams Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court
Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court
© AP Photo / Elizabeth Williams
While Walker herself told The Times that Epstein offered her a modelling opportunity, Rolling Stone suggested, citing a source, that the late financier actually talked her out of pursuing a modelling career and urged her to finish her education instead. From 1992 to 2000, when the woman was studying in medical school in Texas, records show that she listed an address in a New York apartment building owned by Epstein as her residence.
According to the report, she was using the building for occasional meetings but didn't actually live there.
Another source, friendly with the disgraced billionaire, told the outlet that Walker felt a "deep gratitude" toward Epstein, who reportedly hired her as his "Science Adviser" in 1998. At the same time, she allegedly provided him with an opportunity to meet interesting faculty members at Cal Tech and elsewhere, as he was searching for projects to fund.
Walker later began dating and eventually married Steven Sinofsky, an executive at Microsoft, which allowed her to meet Gates and join his philanthropic foundation.
The magazine additionally suggested that other people close to the Microsoft founder - physician Boris Nikolic and scientist Nathan Myhrvold - had also met Epstein and backed the link between the two billionaires. In fact, Epstein even appointed Nikolic as a substitute executor of his will, just two days before his death, which was a surprise for him.
Nikolic said he had had no meaningful contact with Epstein for years, alleging that the move was a bid to damage Gates' reputation.
Epstein, who had been previously convicted of sex abuse, faced a new round of accusations in 2019. He was charged with setting up a criminal network for the sexual exploitation of girls, including minors. A month later, the paedophile financier was found dead at a federal Manhattan prison under suspicious circumstances, as he was awaiting a sex trafficking trial.