Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has admitted that spending time with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was “a huge mistake” after the pair’s relationship was exposed in 2019.
In a new interview with Anderson Cooper for CNN, Gates discussed his marital breakdown, an alleged affair he had with a Microsoft staffer, and his relationship with Epstein.
Gates asserted that he had only met with Epstein in the hopes of raising funds for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its efforts to help global health issues.
“I had several dinners with him, you know, hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge,” Gates said.
“When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended.”
Ultimately, Gates claims the meetings were a mistake, which is the same sentiment he has maintained since 2019 when he told the New York Times he “regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgement to do so”.
“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates told CNN. “I made a mistake.”
Gates has declined to comment on the Wall Street Journal reports that his ties to Epstein were a reason for his divorce from Melinda French Gates. The WSJ reports that the relationship was a “cause for concern” for Melinda in the lead up to the split. The Gates’ divorce was finalised earlier this week.
It’s worth noting that Gates first met with Epstein in 2011, three years after he was convicted and sentenced to 18 month in prison for prostitution of a minor.
On July 6, 2019, Epstein was again arrested, this time on sex trafficking charges allegedly involving minors as young as 14. Just one month after his arrest, Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019.