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Fact Check-Bill Gates did not claim he visited Epstein’s Caribbean island

Allegations that Bill Gates visited late American financier Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean island, Little Saint James, have been debunked in the past. They resurfaced again in January 2023, with social media posts claiming, with no evidence, that Gates himself said “he doesn’t know why he visited Epstein’s island.”

An iteration retweeted over 18,000 times reads (here) reads: “Bill Gates claims he doesn’t know why he visited Epstein Island….THIRTY-SIX TIMES.”

Other examples can be seen (here) (bit.ly/3kDXUcj).

Epstein, a registered sex offender, took his own life in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges (here ). Reuters reporting about litigation regarding Epstein's island is viewable (here )

When asked about Gates having visited the island or admitting he did so, a spokesperson for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation told Reuters that neither claim is true.

In May 2020, Reuters Fact Check found flight logs showed Gates had traveled on Epstein’s plane once, not multiple times, and claims he had visited Little Saint James were unfounded (here).

The available flight logs of Epstein’s private planes, viewable online in uploads by Gawker.com (here) and Factcheck.org (here), show the billionaire philanthropist flew on an aircraft of Epstein’s once to Florida, not to Little Saint James.

The New York Times reported in 2019 (here) that Epstein and Gates had met several times and that according to “a flight manifest”, Gates flew from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach, Florida. Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates told the New York Times at the time that Gates “hadn’t been made aware it was Mr. Epstein’s plane.”

Gates has publicly said he regretted his meetings with Epstein and called them “a mistake” (here ), (here).

Reuters found no evidence of Gates claiming, “he doesn’t know why he visited” Little Saint James. No media reports or social media posts from Gates support the allegation (bit.ly/3JdrbVh) (bit.ly/3JdYiZ4).

VERDICT

False. Reuters found no public record of Bill Gates saying he “doesn’t know why” he visited Epstein’s island multiple times. A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation said he made no such claim and that he did not visit Epstein’s island.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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