Bill Gates Had Reputation for Questionable Behavior Before Divorce

While Mr. Gates thought this brought the matter to an end, Ms. French Gates was not satisfied with the result, two of the people said. She asked a law firm to conduct an independent review of the Cascade woman’s allegations and culture. Mr Larson was given a leave of absence while the investigation was ongoing, but he was eventually reinstated. (It is unclear whether the investigation exonerated Mr. Larson.) He remains responsible for Cascade.

A spokesman for Mr. Larson had no comment.

About a year after the settlement – and less than two weeks after Ms. French Gates ‘column in Time – the Times published an article about Mr. Gates’ relationship with Mr. Epstein. The article reported that the two men had spent time together on multiple occasions, had flown on Mr. Epstein’s private jet, and attended a nightly meeting at his Manhattan townhouse. “His lifestyle is very diverse and fascinating, although it wouldn’t work for me,” Gates emailed his colleagues in 2011 after meeting Mr. Epstein for the first time.

(Mrs. Arnold, the spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, said at the time that he regretted the relationship with Mr. Epstein. She said that Mr. Gates did not know that the plane belonged to Mr. Epstein and that Mr. Gates was referring to that unique decor of Mr. Epstein’s house.)

The Times article contained details about Mr. Gates’ interactions with Mr. Epstein that Ms. French Gates had not known before, according to people familiar with the matter. Soon after its release, she began consulting with divorce lawyers and other counselors who would help the couple split their wealth, one respondent said. The Wall Street Journal previously reported the timing of their attorneys’ appointments.

The Times revelations were particularly angry with Ms. French Gates for previously expressing her discomfort at her husband, who was linked to Mr. Epstein, who died of suicide in federal custody in 2019 shortly after being charged with sex trafficking in girls was. Ms. French Gates expressed discomfort in the fall of 2013 after she and Mr. Gates had dinner with Mr. Epstein at his townhouse. (The incident was previously reported by The Daily Beast.)

For years, Mr. Gates went on to dinners and meetings at Mr. Epstein’s, where Mr. Epstein usually surrounded himself with young and attractive women, said two people who were there and two others who were told about the meetings.

Ms. Arnold said Mr. Gates never socialized or attended parties with Mr. Epstein, and she denied that young and attractive women attended their meetings. “Bill only met with Epstein to discuss philanthropy,” Ms. Arnold said.

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