Bill Gates was about 30 years older than Mila Antonova in 2010 when he reportedly had an alleged affair with the up-and-coming Russian bridge player and entrepreneur.
Gates, whose date of birth is Oct. 28, 1955, would have been 53 at the time and still married to Melinda Gates. Antonova was reportedly in her early 20s. Bill and Melinda announced in May 2021 that they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
Antonova mentioned the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft during a talk about the benefits of bridge, which was posted on YouTube by Ignite NYC in July 2010. It is unclear if the event was in July 2010 or if that was when the video was uploaded.
“Two years ago, I said, ‘Everyone, I’m going to meet this guy,'” Antonova said while pointing to a picture of her with Gates. “No one believed me. Last year, I played against him at the same table at the National Bridge Tournament in Washington, D.C. I didn’t beat him, but I tried to kick him with my leg.”
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The audience laughed, and the slide flipped from a picture of Gates and Antonova to a “future champions” slide with a collage of young bridge players.
The innocent presentation came back to light 13 years later after The Wall Street Journal reported that Jeffrey Epstein threatened to expose Gates’ alleged affair with Antonova.
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“Mr. Gates met with Epstein solely for philanthropic purposes,” a spokeswoman for Gates told WSJ. “Having failed repeatedly to draw Mr. Gates beyond these matters, Epstein tried unsuccessfully to leverage a past relationship to threaten Mr. Gates.”
Antonova reportedly was trying to start an online venture that would teach people how to play bridge and educate the masses on the benefits of the game after she met Gates, according to WSJ.
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She had a Facebook group called “Contract Bridge,” which says, “Bringing Contract Bridge to the next generation.” The last post in the group was a March 2012 newsletter with tips and tricks for young bridge players.
The post includes a now-defunct dropbox link.
Antonova also appeared to have a Twitter page – @BridgeUnion – which was following 43 people, including Bill Gates. The last tweet from the account was dated April 23, 2013, that linked back to an inc.com story headlined, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship.”
On April 18, 2010, @BridgeUnion tweeted, “Bill Gates speaks to BridgeUnion.com” with a link to a Facebook post on “Contract Bridge.”
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The next day, @BridgeUnion retweeted Gates’ tweet that said, “We are live RT @aplusk: RT @TechCrunch Bill Gates Talks About How To Change The World http://tcrn.ch/aXhQtZ #BGCT”
In November 2013, Gates’ confidant Boris Nikolic reportedly introduced Antonova, who was in the process of fundraising, to Epstein, according to WSJ, which cited “documents reviewed by the outlet.”
Epstein ultimately did not donate to the proposal, dubbed “BridgePlanet,” WSJ reported, citing Antonova.
“I deeply regret that I ever met Epstein,” Nikolic highlighted to the outlet. “His crimes were despicable. I never saw anything like his illegal behavior. My heart goes out to his victims and their families.”
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The next year, Epstein reportedly paid for Antonova’s programming classes as she pursued a career in software engineering, WSJ reported.
“Epstein agreed to pay and he paid directly to the school. Nothing was exchanged. I don’t know why he did that,” Antonova told WSJ. “When I asked, he said something like, he was wealthy and wanted to help people when he could.”
Meanwhile, Epstein was trying to set up a multibillion-dollar charitable fund with JPMorgan, in part to reportedly help repair his public image following his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitutes, including an underage girl. The plan hinged on him getting wealthy donors, including Gates, to pool their money for the fund, according to the report.
Gates and Epstein had met a handful of times before Epstein’s death in 2019, which Gates later said he regrets. In emails reviewed by WSJ, Epstein sent emails to JPMorgan trying to give the impression he was an adviser to Gates. The tech billionaire’s spokeswoman told the outlet that Epstein never worked for Gates and misrepresented their relationship to JPMorgan.
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The fund stalled and ultimately went nowhere.
“The firm didn’t need him as a client,” a JPMorgan spokesman told WSJ of Epstein. “The firm didn’t need him for introductions. Knowing what we know today, we wish we had never done business with him.”
In 2017, years after Gates’ alleged relationship with Antonova, Epstein emailed Gates about the bridge player, sources with knowledge of the incident told WSJ. Antonova denied providing comment to WSJ about Gates specifically, the outlet noted.
Epstein reportedly asked Gates to reimburse him for the funds used to cover Antonova’s software programming classes. Gates did not send a payment, according to Gates’ spokeswoman.
“Mr. Gates had no financial dealings with Epstein,” the spokeswoman said.
Sources said the cost of the classes were irrelevant to both men, but that the tone of the email showed Epstein was aware of the alleged affair and could expose Gates.
Fox News Digital Reporter Emma Colton contributed to this report.
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