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Home » Evidence does not support a claim that Bill Gates went to Jeffrey Epstein’s Island, much less ‘37 times’

Evidence does not support a claim that Bill Gates went to Jeffrey Epstein’s Island, much less ‘37 times’

Billionaire and philanthropist and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates met with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein many times. But false claims about the location of those meetings and why the two met are spreading online.

A short video posted to Instagram on May 20 starts with an image of Gates along with text on the screen: “37 Epstein visits” and “Bill Gates.”

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Gates and Epstein did meet together, multiple times, to discuss philanthropic opportunities. But records don’t show that Gates went to Epstein’s island, which is in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Reuters fact-checked a similar claim in 2020, a year after Epstein was found dead by suicide in a jail cell following criminal charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. Subpoenaed flight logs obtained by the press showed Gates flew on Epstein’s plane once, on March 1, 2013, from Teterboro airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. The records do not show that he flew to Epstein’s island.

Gates and Epstein met repeatedly beginning in 2011, The New York Times reported, including at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse and in Florida. He stopped meeting with him in 2013, the paper reported. Gates’ employees also visited Epstein’s mansion. Gates has said before that he regretted meeting with him.

In an August 2021 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he said: “I had several dinners with him, hoping what he said about getting billions (of dollars) for global health through contacts that he had might emerge, you know. When it looked like it wasn’t a real thing, the relationship ended. But it was a huge mistake to spend time with him to give him the credibility of being there. There were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.”

There’s no evidence to support the theory that Gates visited Epstein’s island 37 times. We rate this claim False.

This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. See the sources for this fact check here.

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