Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who committed suicide in jail, managed to lure an astonishing array of rich, powerful and famous men into his orbit.

There were billionaires (Leslie Wexner and Leon Black), politicians (Bill Clinton and Bill Richardson), Nobel laureates (Murray Gell-Mann and Frank Wilczek) and even royals (Prince Andrew).

Few, though, compared in prestige and power to the world's second-richest person, a brilliant and intensely private luminary: Bill Gates. And unlike many others, Gates started the relationship after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes.

Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, whose US$100 billion-plus fortune has endowed the world's largest

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The first meeting

A vast charitable fund

Flying to Florida