- The Microsoft tycoon’s links to Epstein are troubling enough
- But now our investigation asks: Was he drawn into the scandal over Moscow’s bid to infiltrate the rich and powerful in the West?
By BARBARA DAVIES and BARBARA MCMAHON and WILL STEWART
Two young women stride along a New York street, barely breaking step to flash smiles at the camera. One of them is slightly out of focus but her face – and the face of her friend – is unmistakable. Chillingly so.
The woman on the right is Russian bridge player Mila Antonova, the woman alleged this week to have been the former lover of billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates– as well as an associate and financial beneficiary of the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
What makes this photograph sensational, however, is the presence of the flame-haired woman on the left. She is none other than notorious Moscow spy Anna Chapman.
This week, a world exclusive investigation by the Daily Mail has uncovered a potentially disturbing and unexplained link between Gates’ erstwhile Russian ‘lover’ and Kremlin spook Chapman. While there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on Antonova’s part, it seems to be a connection which raises serious questions for Gates and, of course, for the California-based Russian herself.
Despite repeated approaches this week, it’s still not known whether the 67-year-old Microsoft boss had any knowledge of a potential link between Antonova and Chapman, the daughter of a former KGB officer.
Anna Chapman and Mila Antonova
Bill Gates is rumoured to have had an affair with Russian bridge player Ms Antonova
Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates and Boris Nikolic, who is said to have introduced Gates to Antonova
Last week, however, his spokeswoman admitted that paedophile Epstein, who was known to cultivate friendships with the ultra-wealthy in order to exploit them, had ‘tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship’ to threaten Gates into doing his bidding.
At the time of his brief ‘relationship’ with Antonova, who is nearly 30 years his junior, father-of-three Gates was still married to his wife Melinda.
Registered sex offender Epstein wanted Gates to become an ‘anchor donor’ in a multi-billion dollar global charitable fund which he planned to set up, to camouflage his sordid private life, and increase his influence.
The pair had more than half a dozen meetings and Gates once flew on Epstein’s private jet, known as the ‘Lolita Express’. He has since said he regrets meeting with the disgraced financier who apparently killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
His spokeswoman has insisted any meetings were ‘solely for philanthropic purposes’. Gates ultimately declined to join Epstein’s charitable fund and the project did not go ahead.
Even so, the question remains; if Epstein knew about the alleged affair – and later made sure Gates knew he knew – did he also know of Antonova’s apparent links to Chapman?
Certainly, a relationship between Gates, one of the most influential businessmen on the planet, and a woman who appears to have connections to a Kremlin intelligence agent is troubling.