Bill Gates was known for his questionable behavior before the divorce

While Mr Gates believed that ended the case, Ms French Gates was not happy with the outcome, two of the people said. She called on a law firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations of Cascade’s wife and culture. Mr. Larson was placed on leave while the investigation was ongoing, but was eventually reinstated. (It is not known whether the investigation exonerated Mr. Larson.) He remains in charge of Cascade.

A spokesperson for Mr. Larson made no comment.

About a year after the settlement – and less than two weeks after Ms French Gates columned on Time – the Times ran an article detailing Mr Gates’ relationship with Mr Epstein. The article reported that the two had spent time together on several occasions, flying aboard Mr. Epstein’s private jet and attending a late-night rally at his Manhattan home. “His lifestyle is very different and rather intriguing, although it wouldn’t work for me,” Gates sent his colleagues in 2011, after meeting Mr. Epstein for the first time.

(Ms Arnold, Mr Gates’ spokesperson, said at the time that he regretted the relationship with Mr Epstein. She said Mr Gates was unaware that the plane belonged to Mr Epstein and that Mr. Gates had been referring to the unique decor of Mr. Epstein’s home.)

The Times article included details of Mr Gates’ interactions with Mr Epstein that Ms French Gates had not previously known, according to people familiar with the matter. Shortly after it was posted, she began consulting with divorce lawyers and other counselors who would help the couple divide their assets, one of the people said. The Wall Street Journal Previously reported when to hire lawyers.

The Times’ revelations were particularly upsetting for Ms French Gates because she had previously expressed unease with her husband by partnering with Mr Epstein, who died by suicide in federal custody in 2019, shortly after being charged with sex trafficking of girls. Ms French Gates expressed unease in the fall of 2013 after she and Mr Gates had dinner with Mr Epstein at his townhouse, according to people briefed on the dinner and its aftermath. (The incident was reported earlier by The Daily Beast.)

For years Mr Gates continued to go to dinners and meetings at Mr Epstein’s home, where Mr Epstein usually surrounded himself with young and attractive women, said two people who were there and two others in who we talked about the gatherings.

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

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