In an interview on CNN on Wednesday night, Bill Gates acknowledged that his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was “a huge mistake,” and he informed the host, Anderson Cooper, that his divorce, which grew to become final this week, was “definitely a very sad milestone.”
The New York Times reported in 2019 about Mr. Gates’s relationship with Mr. Epstein, begun after Mr. Epstein had been convicted of intercourse crimes. The two males met on quite a few events beginning in 2011 — together with a minimum of 3 times at Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse, The Times reported, citing interviews with over a dozen folks and associated paperwork.
“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing, although it would not work for me,” Mr. Gates emailed colleagues in 2011, after their first assembly. A spokeswoman for Mr. Gates informed The Times that he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates.”
On Mr. Cooper’s show, Mr. Gates mentioned: “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. 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.”
He added, “You know, there were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.”
Mr. Cooper requested Mr. Gates about one other article in The Times, which this 12 months reported on his wife’s concerns about his workplace behavior. In 2018, earlier than their divorce, Melinda French Gates had raised points about her husband’s relationship with Mr. Epstein and a harassment declare towards his cash supervisor. On a minimum of a couple of events, Mr. Gates pursued girls who labored for him at Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in response to the reporting.
Asked on Wednesday if he had regrets, Mr. Gates replied: “Certainly, everyone does.” He added later, “Within the family, we’ll heal as best we can, and learn from what’s happened.”
Mr. Gates, the Microsoft founder, has a web value estimated at $130 billion, and the Gates Foundation now has an endowment of $65 billion, by most measures making it the most important personal charitable basis on the earth. Both Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates have pledged to maintain working on the basis on points together with international well being, poverty discount and gender equality.
“We are communicating and working at the foundation, so that partnership, we’re going to try and continue,” Mr. Gates mentioned on CNN. “Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that help the foundation be better. We’ve always enjoyed our work together. The two of us can go out and work with leaders and help build the organization. That would definitely be the best thing for the foundation.”
For a lot of the interview, Mr. Cooper requested Mr. Gates about his views of the state of the pandemic. Mr. Gates praised the efficacy and mass manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccines, however expressed fear about how simply the Delta variant of the coronavirus may be unfold.
“We wanted to be nearer the end than we are,” he mentioned, “but Delta’s very bad news.”