In an interview on CNN Wednesday night, Bill Gates admitted his relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was “a huge mistake,” and told host Anderson Cooper that his divorce, which went into effect this week, “is for everyone Fall “was a very sad milestone.”
The New York Times reported in 2019 on Mr Gates’ relationship with Mr Epstein, which began after Mr Epstein was convicted of sex crimes. The two men have met on numerous occasions since 2011 – including at least three times in Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, The Times reported, citing interviews with over a dozen people and related documents.
“His lifestyle is very different and somehow fascinating, although it wouldn’t work for me,” Gates wrote to his colleagues in 2011 after their first meeting. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates told the Times that he was referring to “only the unique decor of the Epstein residence – and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances to meet Mr. Gates.”
On Mr. Cooper’s Show, Mr. Gates said, “I had several dinners with him in the hopes that what he said about his contacts raising billions in philanthropy for global health might come out. When it looked like this wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended. But it was a big mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility to be there. “
He added, “You know, there have been many others in the same situation, but I made a mistake.”
Mr. Cooper asked Mr. Gates about another article in the Times that covered his wife’s concerns about his behavior in the workplace this year. In 2018, prior to her divorce, Melinda French Gates had raised issues with her husband’s relationship with Mr. Epstein and a harassment lawsuit against his asset manager. On at least a few occasions, according to the report, Mr. Gates persecuted women who worked for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
When asked if he regrets it, Gates replied on Wednesday: “Sure everyone does.” He later added, “Within the family, we will heal as best we can and learn from what happened”.
Microsoft founder Mr. Gates has an estimated net worth of $ 130 billion and the Gates Foundation now has an endowment of $ 65 billion, making it the largest private charity in the world by most actions. Both Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates have committed to continue working at the Foundation on issues such as global health, poverty reduction and gender equality.
“We are communicating and working in the foundation so we will try and continue this partnership,” Gates said on CNN. “Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings with her that help the foundation improve. We have always enjoyed working together. We can both go out and work with executives and help build the organization. That would definitely be the best thing for the foundation. “
For much of the interview, Mr. Anderson asked Mr. Gates for his views on the state of the pandemic. Mr Gates praised the effectiveness and mass production of the Covid-19 vaccines, but expressed concern about how easily the Delta variant of the coronavirus can be spread.
“We wanted to be closer to the end than we are,” he said, “but Deltas very bad news.”