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Is Bill Gates’s Mom Related to Ghislaine Maxwell?
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Is Bill Gates’s Mom Related to Ghislaine Maxwell?


A viral internet conspiracy claims that Bill Gates’s mother, Mary Gates (née Maxwell), is related to Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell. The conspiracy is often accompanied by a photo that has made the rounds of the internet by itself as well, allegedly depicting Bill Gates with Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

The photograph is of Schneerson, but the other individual in the picture is not Gates. The photo is from a 2014 article published by the Jerusalem Post written by Yosef I. Abramowitz, and the article notes that the picture is of Abramowitz meeting Schneerson in 1992. 

A connection between Mary Gates and Ghislaine Maxwell is similarly unfounded. Mary Gates was the daughter of James Willard Maxwell, who was named for his father who served as the director of the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The Maxwell family has, according to ancestry records, been in the United States since the early 1800s. Ghislaine Maxwell, on the other hand, does not actually come from a Maxwell line: her father, Robert Maxwell, was born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch in Czechoslovakia. Robert Maxwell changed his name after coming to the United Kingdom, where Ghislaine Maxwell was born and raised. There is nothing to indicate a relation between Robert and Ghislaine Maxwell and Mary Maxwell Gates.

Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.