A tearful Bill Gates has reportedly blamed himself for the breakdown of his marriage, but a representative for the billionaire has denied claims he sought advice from Jeffrey Epstein.

An annual gathering of high key worth individuals hosted by financial firm Allen & Co at a resort in Sun Valley California ended with a Q&A session, in which the Microsoft founder "fessed up to messing up", according to an audience member.

“He basically referred to the fact that it was his fault," they told the New York Post.

"He did seem a bit emotional about it. He might have been on the verge of tears.”

However, a spokesperson for the billionaire stressed that “any claim that Gates spoke [to Epstein] of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false.”

A former employee of the Gates Foundation had told The Daily Beast that Gates had consulted Epstein about the possibility of winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

The same source claimed that Gates held regular meetings with Epstein’s $77 million New York townhouse, and looked forward to the sessions as a break from his “toxic” marriage.

“[It’s] not an overstatement,” the source claimed.

“Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,”

They added that Epstein and Gates “were very close.”

“My understanding was he wasn’t hanging out with Epstein to get women,” the Gates Foundation employee said, adding that the former Microsoft boss didn’t like being told what to do and “If anyone were to say, ‘I don’t think you should hang out with [Epstein],’ it would have been Melinda.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Melinda Gates first met with divorce lawyers in October 2019, around the time that he husband’s meetings with Epstein became public knowledge.

People magazine described Bill Gates’s friendship with Epstein as a “sore spot” in the couple’s marriage.

Another former employee revealed The Daily Beast that Gates’s closeness with Epstein was a concern as far back as 2017 – nine years after Epstein had first been convicted of sex offences.

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