Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein: What Microsoft Founder Said About Their Relationship

Billionaire Bill Gates has said it was a "huge mistake" to have several meetings with Jeffrey Epstein after the pedophile had been convicted on child sex offences.

The Microsoft co-founder was asked about Epstein, who died in jail in 2019, and about his divorce during an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.

Gates, 65, said his relationship with Epstein came to an end following a series of meetings in 2011—three years after Epstein's conviction for procuring a child for prostitution.

These meetings reportedly cast a shadow over Gates' relationship with then wife Melinda French Gates, who expressed unease about them and met with lawyers in October 2019. Their divorce was finalized on Monday, after 27 years of marriage.

A New York Times article published in October 2019 went into detail about the meetings between Epstein and Gates, which included an overnight stay at the pedophile's mansion in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Gates told CNN's Cooper on Wednesday: "I had several dinners with him, hoping what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge.

"You know, when it looked like it wasn't a real thing, the relationship ended. But it was a huge mistake to spend time with him to give him the credibility of being there."

Bill Gates explains his past relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, saying they shared “several dinners” in which he hoped to raise “billions of philanthropy.”

“When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended… it was a huge mistake to spend time with him.”

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 5, 2021

He added: "There were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake."

Cooper also asked Gates about a more recent New York Times report on the billionaire's alleged behavior at Microsoft, his philanthropic foundation and the financial firm that manages his fortune. The article was based on accounts by current and former employees.

Cooper said: "They said that your behavior at times created an uncomfortable workplace environment. I know a spokeswoman for you acknowledged you had an affair 20 years ago with a Microsoft employee, which she said ended amicably. Do you have regrets?"

Gates replied: "Oh, certainly, I think everyone does. But it's a time of reflection, you know at this time I need to go forward."

He added later: "Within the family, we'll heal as best we can, and learn from what's happened."

Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019, following his arrest on federal charges over the sex trafficking of minors.

The New York City medical examiner ruled that Epstein's death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center was suicide by hanging. In November that year, then Attorney General William Barr said the death was a "perfect storm of screw-ups."

Newsweek has contacted a representative of Gates for comment.

Gates met Epstein on several occassions
Bill Gates met with Jeffrey Epstein on several occasions in 2011. Getty/ Police handout