Did Bill Gates and Epstein Controversy Contribute to the Divorce With His Wife? (UPDATED)

A new interview with Bill Gates reveals that the billionaire regrets continuing to meet with disgraced businessman and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, calling it a “huge mistake.”

It was to raise money for global health that Gates met with Epstein, who died while awaiting trial for the rape and enslavement of young women.

Their divorce was hastened in part because he met with Epstein, whom his ex-wife Melinda Gates called “abhorrent” and “evil personified,” according to an interview with CBS’ Gayle King in March.

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“I didn’t realize that the meeting with him almost downplayed the incredibly awful things he did,” Gates told Guthrie. “I learned more about that over time but I would add that to the list of big mistakes, including where Melinda’s advice was sound and I should have followed it sooner than I did.”

Gates began meeting with Epstein in 2011, after he was convicted of sex offenses in Florida, according to The New York Times. According to The Wall Street Journal, he stated in 2019 that he had no personal relationship with Epstein.

 

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“There were people around him who were saying, ‘hey, if you want to raise money for global health and get more philanthropy, he knows a lot of rich people,’” According to Gates, he made this statement to the Journal at the time. “Every meeting where I was with him were meetings with men. I was never at any parties or anything like that.”

Talking to Guthrie, Gates said: “He was a bad person and I had a reason I thought those meetings would lead to something good, but I shouldn’t have done them.”

During the repercussions of his divorce, the billionaire publicly revealed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that it was a “mistake” that he had an affair with a Microsoft employee, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to reports in the New York Times and The Journal, Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors in 2020 after the business began investigating him for the affair and other charges of sexual harassment. At the time, his spokeswoman insisted that the two issues were unrelated.

“I caused pain and I feel terrible about that,” Gates told Guthrie about his divorce. “I should be very humble about success. It has a tricky aspect to it, and I don’t have great advice for other people.”

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