Bill Gates has admitted he made ‘a huge mistake’ by attending fundraising meetings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Microsoft founder, 65, first met Epstein in 2011 after the financier had been convicted of soliciting sex from a minor in 2008.
Epstein was also invited to fundraising dinners that promoted the Gates Foundation.
‘At the time, I didn’t realize that by having those meetings it would be seen as giving him credibility,’ Gates told The Times in an interview Sunday.
‘You’re almost saying, ‘I forgive that type of behavior,’ or something. So clearly the way it’s seen, I made a huge mistake not understanding that.’
The dinners were a point of contention between the Microsoft billionaire and his now ex-wife and business partner, Melinda French Gates, who described Epstein as ‘evil personified.’
The couple announced their separation last year after 27 years of marriage.
In earlier interviews, Gates stated how he ultimately stopped meetings with the convicted sex offender after he realized the meetings would not be productive for his philanthropic foundation.
‘I had dinners with him. I regret doing that. He had relationships he said with people he said would give to public health. Not nearly enough philanthropy goes in that direction,’ Gates said in a September 2021 interview.
‘Those meetings were a mistake. They didn’t result in what he purported, and I cut them off. You know, that goes back a long time ago now,’ he said to PBS.
The billionaire has previously claimed he had concerns about Epstein, who had pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute – years before the tech mogul met the financier.
‘I had several dinners with him hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts he had might emerge. When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing that relationship ended,’ Gates said.
‘It was a huge mistake to spend time with him and give him the credibility of being there. There were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.’
Gates has been reported to have visited Epstein’s home numerous times and even talked with him about his ‘toxic’ marriage while the pedophile allegedly gave him advice on ending his marriage, according to the Daily Beast.
Gates’ visits to Epstein’s ‘lair’ were an escape from his unhappy marriage, and the pair ‘were very close’, a source said.
Flight records also reveal that Gates flew with Epstein on the so-called Lolita Express from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Palm Beach on March 1, 2013, one of the few flights that year where pilot Larry Viskoski recorded the name of a passenger.
In her first interview since her divorce from the billionaire last year, Melinda told CBS Mornings in March that she insisted on meeting Epstein back in 2011 because she wanted to see ‘who this man was’.
‘I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein. I made that clear to him. I also met Jeffrey Epstein (Didn't Kill Himself) exactly one time. I wanted to see who this man was and I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door.
‘He was abhorrent, evil personified. I had nightmares about it afterwards. That’s why my heart breaks for these young women. That’s how I felt, and I am an older woman. He was awful.’
She told how Bill had to answer for the many times he met Epstein, and even suggested that it may have contributed to the divorce.
This is an excerpt from Daily Mail.
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Author: RTM Staff
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