- Yuri Gripas/REUTERS; Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images; Lambert/ullstein bild/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- Jeffrey Epstein, the financier arrested in July on charges of sex trafficking of underage girls, died on August 10.
- The former money manager had many famous connections, including to tech moguls, despite his status as a convicted sex offender.
- Bill Gates and Elon Musk are among those who have been connected to Epstein.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Epstein hobnobbed with world leaders and elite executives throughout his life, even after he registered as a sex offender as part of a guilty plea in 2008. He’s been connected to everyone from Prince Andrew to L Brands CEO Les Wexner to several tech moguls, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates.
The New York Times columnist James B. Stewart published an article on August 12 about an August 2018 interview he said he had with Epstein. Stewart included Epstein’s thoughts on Silicon Valley and its tech elite.
“Mr. Epstein then meandered into a discussion of other prominent names in technology circles,” Stewart wrote. “He said people in Silicon Valley had a reputation for being geeky workaholics, but that was far from the truth: They were hedonistic and regular users of recreational drugs. He said he’d witnessed prominent tech figures taking drugs and arranging for sex.”
Here are some of the tech moguls who have been connected to Epstein.
Bill Gates, founder and former CEO of Microsoft
- Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
CNBC reported that other leaders in philanthropy also attended these meetings and that Gates flew on one of Epstein’s airplanes to Palm Beach, Florida, after their meeting in New York.
In a statement, a representative for Gates, Bridgitt Arnold, told Business Insider: “Although Epstein pursued Bill Gates aggressively, any account of a business partnership or personal relationship between the two is categorically false.”
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX
- Kevin Mazur/VF14/Contributor/Getty Images
New York Times columnist James B. Stewart said he asked Epstein about a rumor that Musk had asked Epstein to compile a list of candidates to become Tesla’s new chairman.
Musk was also photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s been accused of being Epstein’s madam, at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood.
A Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider that the rumor that Musk asked Epstein to help with the search for a new chairman is false, and the suggestion that Musk was with Maxwell at the Vanity Fair party is also false.
Scott Borgerson, CEO of CargoMetrics
The Daily Mail reported in August that Maxwell was living in the home of Borgerson, the CEO of the tech company CargoMetrics.
But Borgerson told Business Insider that Maxwell was a “former friend” and that she was not living in his house.
“Ghislaine Maxwell is not at my home and I don’t know where she is,” Borgerson told Business Insider.
Marvin Minsky, MIT’s “father of artificial intelligence”
MIT called Minsky, who died in 2016, the “father of artificial intelligence.” He was one of the founding members of MIT Media Lab, which has innovated a trove of technological advances over the past 30 years including touchscreens, robotic prosthetics, and GPS.
In a recently unsealed deposition published by The Verge in early August, a woman testified that she had been forced to have sex with Minsky at Epstein’s compound in the US Virgin Islands.
The Verge said that while Minsky was known to be a part of Epstein’s circle, the accusation was the first to tie Minsky to the sex-trafficking network Epstein was charged with operating.
Joi Ito, director of MIT Media Lab
- Phillip Faraone/Getty Images
MIT Media Lab was further connected to the Epstein scandal later in August, when the lab’s director, Joi Ito, revealed that he invited Epstein to the lab after meeting him in 2013 and that the lab accepted money through foundations controlled by Epstein. Ito himself visited Epstein’s residences and allowed Epstein to invest in his funds; Ito said those funds, in turn, invest in tech startups.
Ito apologized and pledged to return the money Epstein put in his investment funds. He also vowed to fundraise the same amount of money donated to the lab by Epstein and donate that money to charities supporting survivors of human trafficking.
Then on Friday, The New Yorker published an exposé that contained emails sent between Ito and Epstein. The New Yorker reported that Ito worked with Epstein to solicit donations, both from him and other influential people like Bill Gates. Ito and others at the Media Lab were aware of Epstein’s status as a sex offender, and at least one female staffer resigned, partly over the lab’s ties to Epstein, The New Yorker reported.
On Saturday, Ito resigned from MIT.
Reid Hoffman, cofounder of LinkedIn
- Brian Snyder/Reuters
In July, Vanity Fair reported that Epstein attended a dinner that Reid Hoffman hosted in Palo Alto a few years ago. Vanity Fair also reported that Mark Zuckerberg was introduced to Epstein by Elon Musk at said dinner.
Hoffman is also a member of the MIT Media Lab’s advisory council, and he funds the lab’s Disobedience Award. The award gives a quarter of a million dollars “no-strings-attached” to folks exercising “ethical disobedience” to take a stand against societal injustice.
Anand Giridharadas, TIME editor-at-large and former juror for the Disobedience Award, tweeted on Friday that Hoffman defended Joi Ito in an email. After Giridharadas learned about MIT Media Lab’s ties with Epstein, he sent an email to the Disobedience Award selection committee members requesting that Joi’s correspondences with Epstein be made public.
“Hoffman basically hid behind bureaucracy and the old ‘ongoing investigation’ excuse,” Giridharadas wrote on Twitter. “He said it would be complicated to release the correspondence publicly because other names might get dragged in.”
Giridharadas called for anyone connected to Epstein to step away from the award’s selection comittee, and Giridharadas said that Hoffman replied that he was making it “all about you.” In the end, Giridharadas resigned from his juror post.