Mary Margaret Olohan
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday that he regrets spending time with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates said, according to CNN.
Gates explained that he only spent time with Epstein because he hoped the convicted sex offender would help raise money for global health issues.
“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,” Gates said. “When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended.”
Epstein died of apparent suicide in a federal jail in New York City in August 2019. His cohort Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of involvement in Epstein’s crimes against young women, was arrested by the FBI in July 2020.
A grand jury indicted her on charges of conspiracy entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors to these illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sex acts and perjury. The victims were as young as 14 years old, the indictment said, noting that both Maxwell and Epstein “knew that certain victims were in fact under the age of 18.”
Gates, whose divorce from ex-wife Melinda French Gates was finalized this week, would not discuss a report from The Wall Street Journal that his connections to Epstein played a part in his divorce, CNN reported.
“It’s a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward,” Gates told Cooper. “Within the family, we’ll heal the best that we can.”
The Microsoft co-founder also told CNN that he hopes his ex-wife will continue to work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, saying this would “definitely be the best thing for the foundation.”“Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that help the foundation be better,” he said.
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