(The Hill) – Billionaire Bill Gates said that he regretted having dinners with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a new interview with Australia’s ABC 7.30.
“I will say for the over a hundredth time, I shouldn’t have had dinners with him,” Gates said in the interview.
According to The New York Times, Gates began meeting with Epstein in 2011, after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes in Florida. Gates had told The Wall Street Journal in 2019 that he did not have a business relationship or friendship with Epstein, who died by suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.
Since then, Gates has repeatedly said he regretted meeting Epstein, telling NBC’s Savannah Guthrie last year that his meetings were a “huge mistake,” and that he should have heeded his ex-wife Melinda Gates’s advice sooner to stop meeting with him. During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2021, he admitted to having several dinners with Epstein in hopes of raising funds for philanthropy, which he also said was a “huge mistake.”
Melinda Gates, told CBS’s Gayle King last year that Gates’s continued meetings with Epstein contributed to their divorce, which was finalized in 2021.
When asked if Melinda was warning Gates that Epstein had ways of “sexually compromising people” in the new interview, he said she was not. Gates also denied claims that there was any relationship between Epstein and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.