Bill Gates discussed his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday, admitting he made a “huge mistake.”
The Microsoft founder was asked about some incorrect claims surrounding his personal life and recent divorce from Melinda French Gates, which was finalized earlier this week.
Gates said of Epstein after stories emerged linking his divorce to his meetings with the disgraced American financier: “It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there.”
Epstein committed suicide in jail in August 2019 while awaiting a sex-trafficking trial.
Gates insisted, “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. When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended.”
Gates also spoke further about his divorce and the impact it’ll have on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“It’s a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward,” Gates said when asked about bullying accusations at Microsoft. “Within the family, we’ll heal the best that we can and learn from what’s happened.”
He said he hopes he and Melinda can continue to work together on global health issues with their organization. They’ll determine over the next two years whether this is possible.
Gates told Cooper: “That would definitely be the best thing for the foundation. Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that help the foundation be better.”
Bill and Melinda announced in early May that they decided to end their marriage after 27 years. The two have been married since January 1994 and share three children together — 25-year-old Jennifer, 22-year-old Rory and 18-year-old Phoebe.