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Fresh off his divorce, Microsoft founder Bill Gates went on CNN Wednesday to apologize for the several times he hung out with and lent credibility to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Gates told Anderson Cooper he regretted his relationship with Epstein, describing it as transactional and saying he only met with Epstein in the hope of raising money for the Gates Foundation.
“I had several dinners with him, hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge,” Gates told Anderson Cooper. “When it looked like that wasn't a real thing, that relationship ended.”
“But it was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates added. “There were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.”
In October 2019, just a few months after Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell, the New York Times reported that Gates’ relationship with Epstein began in 2011, years after Epstein had been accused of horrific child sex abuse crimes and convicted in Florida on a charge of procuring a child for prostitution. Gates met with Epstein at least three times at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse and on at least one occasion stayed well into the night, the Times reported at the time.
Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, finalized their divorce earlier this week after 27 years of marriage. Melinda French Gates hired divorce lawyers the same month her now former husband’s meetings with Epstein became public, the New York Times reported in July.
Gates stepped down from his role as Microsoft’s CEO in 2000 but remained on the board of directors until last year. Gates resigned in the midst of an investigation into allegations from a former Microsoft employee that Gates initiated a sexual relationship with her in 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported in May. A Gates spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that his decision to resign from the board was not related to the affair, which the spokesperson said “ended amicably.”
Gates also allegedly pursued numerous women who worked for Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, the Times reported last month, and half a dozen current and former employees of Gates and the firm that managed the now-split couple’s fortune told the Times that his behavior made for an uncomfortable work environment.
Asked by Cooper if he had “regrets,” Gates looked visibly uncomfortable, smiling awkwardly and shifting in his seat as he ad-libbed his way through a non-answer. “Well, certainly, I—I think everyone does. Uh, but, you know, I’m—it’s a time of reflection,” Gates gulped.
“Ah, you know, I—you know, at this point I, I need to go forward,” he added. “Uh, my work is uh, very important to me. Uh, within the family, we’ll, uh, heal as best we can, uh, and, and learn from what’s happened.”