Bill Gates admits spending time with Jeffrey Epstein was ‘huge mistake’

Bill Gates admitted on Wednesday that it was a ‘huge mistake’ to spend time with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and revealed that they shared ‘several dinners.’

Gates, 65, also revealed that his divorce from ex-wife Melinda French Gates ‘was a source of great personal sadness’ for the Microsoft co-founder in an extensive and wide-ranging interview with Anderson Cooper on his CNN show.

Gates’ relationship with Epstein dates back to 2011 but it became a point of contention in September 2013 between him and Melinda – who has been said to have been concerned about his relationship with the convicted pedophile.

Melinda reportedly told friends she was furious about their alleged friendship and wanted nothing to do with Epstein – and has been reported to have hired divorce lawyers in 2019 after meetings that Gates had with Epstein became public.

Bill Gates, 65, made a number of bombshell revelations during an extensive and wide-ranging interview with Anderson Cooper on his CNN show

He revealed that his divorce from ex-wife Melinda French Gates 'was a source of great personal sadness'

He revealed that his divorce from ex-wife Melinda French Gates ‘was a source of great personal sadness’

Gates also admitted on Wednesday that it was a 'huge mistake' to spend time with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and revealed that they shared 'several dinners'

Gates also admitted on Wednesday that it was a ‘huge mistake’ to spend time with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and revealed that they shared ‘several dinners’

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

The billionaire told Cooper that he also ‘certainly’ 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.’

A photo shows Bill and Melinda Gates while they were dating before getting married

A photo shows Bill and Melinda Gates while they were dating before getting married

Gates’ spokesperson told Insider in June that Gates had ‘absolutely no business partnership or personal friendship’ with Epstein, and any meetings between the two were about philanthropy.

‘It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many lies published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates’s divorce,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The rumors and speculation surrounding Mr. Gates are becoming increasingly absurd and it’s unfortunate that people who have little to no knowledge are being characterized as ‘sources.’

Cooper also asked Gates if he had ‘regrets’ about recent allegations that he engaged in workplace misbehavior – though the billionaire did not provide extensive comment responding to those claims.

‘Certainly everyone does [have regrets] but it’s a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward,’ Gates said. 

‘My work is very important to me, within the family we’ll heal as best we can and learn from what’s happening.’

Maria Klawe, a former Microsoft board member from 2009 to 2015, right, said that 'a person like Bill Gates thinks the usual rules of behavior don't apply to him'

Maria Klawe, a former Microsoft board member from 2009 to 2015, right, said that ‘a person like Bill Gates thinks the usual rules of behavior don’t apply to him’ 

Klawe said that Gates behaved as if he was the 'smartest person in the room' and that diversity was not something Gates 'was interested in hearing about'

Klawe said that Gates behaved as if he was the ‘smartest person in the room’ and that diversity was not something Gates ‘was interested in hearing about’ 

In June, four Microsoft employees accused Gates of being an office ‘bully’ whose catchphrase was ‘that’s the stupidest f*****g idea I’ve ever heard’ and claimed he pursued sexual affairs with employees and journalists.

Gates’ reputation as a hot-tempered boss began not long after he launched tech giant Microsoft with childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975, Insider reported. A spokesperson for the billionaire has denied he mistreated employees.

A former Microsoft executive who spoke on condition of anonymity told the outlet that ‘having a meeting with Bill was just an opportunity to get yelled at, so I tried to avoid that.’

Gates would even allegedly track his employees by memorizing their license plates, according to the outlet. 

Maria Klawe, a former Microsoft board member, said ‘a person like Bill Gates thinks the usual rules of behavior don’t apply to him’ and accused him of being unreceptive to suggestions about improving diversity.

Klawe said that Gates behaved as if he was the ‘smartest person in the room’ and that diversity was not something Gates ‘was interested in hearing about.’

Bill Gates, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, are pictured in 1987. Allen said in his memoir that Gates tried to dilute his equity in the company because he was "unproductive" while dealing with his first bout of cancer

Bill Gates, and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, are pictured in 1987. Allen said in his memoir that Gates tried to dilute his equity in the company because he was ‘unproductive’ while dealing with his first bout of cancer

Bill Gates, not pictured, still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, pictured

Winblad, pictured, is the software entrepreneur, whom Bill Gates had dated from 1984 to 1987, even after marrying Melinda Gates

Bill Gates, not pictured, still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, pictured, the software entrepreneur whom he had dated from 1984 to 1987, even after marrying Melinda Gates

Gates had an alleged affair with a married woman 13 years older than him when he was 27 years old

Gates had an alleged affair with a married woman 13 years older than him when he was 27 years old

She said that, when female executives would suggest diversity initiatives, Gates would allegedly respond with: ‘Are you trying to effing destroy the company?’

A spokesperson for Gates told Insider that Klawe’s allegations are a ‘gross mischaracterization.’

Gates’ relationships and encounters with employees have long been a topic of discussion surrounding the billionaire, the outlet noted.

The future of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman announced in June that Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, who serve as the foundation’s two co-chairs, decided to expand the number of trustees overseeing the foundation’s governance and decision-making as a family charitable trust. 

‘The additional trustees will bring new perspectives, help guide resource allocation and strategic direction, and ensure the stability and sustainability of the foundation,’ a news release from the announcement reads.

The news came after the couple announced they would be divorcing in May – raising concerns about the future of the foundation amid their separation.

Suzman noted that Gates and French Gates ‘are fully committed to continuing to work constructively together at the foundation to advance its program and policy objectives.’

‘However, they have also agreed to an additional step to ensure the continuity of the foundation’s work: if after two years either decides they cannot continue to work together as co-chairs, French Gates will resign her position as co-chair and trustee,’ the release reads.

‘In such a case, French Gates would receive personal resources from Gates for her philanthropic work. These resources would be completely separate from the foundation’s endowment, which would not be affected.’  

In the release, Melinda noted she was ‘deeply proud’ of what the foundation and its partners have accomplished in the last two decades.  

‘Their faith that progress is possible fuels mine. These governance changes bring more diverse perspectives and experience to the foundation’s leadership,’ she said.

‘I believe deeply in the foundation’s mission and remain fully committed as co-chair to its work.’ 

The foundation noted that its co-chairs expect to appoint individuals ‘who will further enhance the diversity, experience, and expertise of the foundation’s leadership and continue to uphold a culture of integrity.’ 

Suzman and Connie Collingsworth, the foundation’s chief operating officer and chief legal officer, have been asked to oversee that process. The new trustees are expected to be announced in January 2022.

According to the website for the Gates Foundation, the nonprofit was organized into a two-tier structure in October 2006 when The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust were created.

The foundation has become one of the most powerful and influential forces in global public health with spending of more than $50 billion over the past two decades. 

The Gates Foundation currently has an endowment of about $49.9 billion, according to its website. 

The foundation’s trustees were Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett until the Berkshire Hathaway billionaire resigned as a trustee in the wake of the divorce announcement, Reuters reported. 

Buffett, 90, also announced he has been an ‘inactive trustee’ for years at the foundation, but fully supported Suzman and that their goals were ‘100% in sync.’

He did not explain to Reuters why he was resigning, while noting he has given up all directorships outside Berkshire, reducing his workload. 

French Gates herself was an employee at Microsoft, having been hired as a product manager in 1987, when the billionaire first asked her out months after flirting with her at a conference dinner.

In 2006, Bill Gates allegedly asked a female Microsoft employee out to dinner in an email after attending a presentation she had given, The New York Times reported.

‘If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never happened,’ Gates wrote in the email obtained by The New York Times.

A Gates Foundation employee told the outlet that the billionaire asked her on a date while they were at a cocktail party in New York.

‘I want to see you. Will you have dinner with me?’ Gates allegedly told the woman.

In the 1992 biography Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, author James Wallace revealed Gates had an alleged affair with a married woman 13 years older than him when he was 27 years old.

His alleged affair was with the wife of an Osborne Computer executive who lived abroad, according to the biography.

Gates himself admitted to frequenting the area, centered on Washington Street between Boylston Street and Kneeland Street, in a 1994 interview he did with Playboy magazine.

‘Just because I went there doesn’t mean I engaged in everything that was going on,’ Gates said.

‘I ate pizza, read books and watched what was going on. I went to the diners.’

Wallace claimed to Insider that Gates’ penchant for socializing with women remained even after he started dating Melinda Gates in 1987.

Gates was allegedly known to invite friends to swim naked at his bachelor pad in Laurelhurst where he ’rounded up’ dancers from local all-nude nightclubs, Wallace said.

‘I don’t know if he physically transported them or if he just told them where to show up,’ Wallace told the outlet.

Robert X. Cringely, who wrote a popular computer gossip column for InfoWorld, told Insider that Gates was allegedly often inebriated at tech events and after-parties and that he ‘got drunk pretty easily.’

‘All of us will have been at some affair where Bill was clearly impaired. He was happier’ drunk, Cringely said.

Gates, then 33, took a helicopter to Les Arcs ski resort in the French Alps for an international sales meeting for Microsoft in the summer of 1988 where he was allegedly caught lying on top of a woman on the lawn.

The pair were ‘just snuggling’ after Gates joined his employees for drinks in a Swiss chalet and partied until the early morning, Dan Graves, a former Microsoft export manager, told Insider.

After he started dating Melinda, Gates allegedly struggled to commit to her and she was allegedly aware of his ‘womanizing,’ the outlet reported. The couple even broke up for at least a year early in their relationship.

‘Bill wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and have Microsoft,’ Melinda said in an interview for the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates.

Even after marrying Melinda, Gates told Time magazine in 1997 that he still went on annual vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with his ex-girlfriend Ann Winblad, the software entrepreneur whom he had dated from 1984 to 1987.

Bill and Melinda Gates’ personal affairs have been managed by Watermark Estate Management since at least 2001, which would allegedly arrange Gates’ annual beach trips with Winblad.

The couple officially divorced on Monday after 27 years of marriage, just months after the couple first announced their split in May.

Cooper had started the interview on Wednesday, intended to discuss the recent surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19, by asking about Gates’ divorce and its effects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

‘It’s definitely a very sad milestone. Melinda is a great person and that partnership that we had coming to an end is a source of great personal sadness,’ Gates said.

‘We are communicating and working at the foundation and so that partnership, we’re going to try and continue.’

The foundation has said that Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates would continue working together as its trustees for two years on a trial basis.

‘Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that help the foundation be better. We always enjoyed our work together. The two of us can go out and work with leaders and help build the organization and so that would definitely be the best thing for the foundation.’

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S UNDOING: A TIMELINE OF THE MILLIONAIRE PEDOPHILE’S DOWNFALL 

 1999 – Virginia Roberts Giuffre is allegedly recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell to became Epstein’s ‘sex slave,’ at 17. She also claimed that he forced her to have sex with his friend Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth.

2002 – Trump tells New York Magazine that his friend Epstein ‘likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.’

2005 – A 14-year-old girl tells police that Epstein molested her at his Palm Beach mansion.

May 2006 – Epstein and two of his associates are charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor. State attorney of the time Barry Krischer, referred the case to a grand jury who heard from just two of the 12 girls law enforcement had gathered as potential witnesses. They returned just one single count of soliciting prostitution.

July 2006 – The case is referred to the FBI by the Florida Palm Beach police who were unhappy with how the case was handled.

2007 – Epstein’s lawyers meet with Miami’s top federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who would later become the Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. They secretly negotiate the ‘deal of a lifetime’.

June 2008 – After pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, the millionaire was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors and give him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges. In reality, Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated at the jail.

July 2008 – Accusers learned of the deal for the first time.

July 2009 – Epstein is released from jail five months early.

July 2018 – The Miami Herald publishes investigative journalist Julie K. Brown’s exposé on Epstein’s long history of alleged sexual abuse and news of the ‘deal of a lifetime’ after Acosta was made Labor Secretary.

February 2019 – The justice department opens an internal review into Epstein’s plea deal.

July 7, 2019 – Epstein is arrested after his private jet lands at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport from Paris. At the same time, federal agents break into his Manhattan townhouse where they uncovered hundreds of photographs of naked minors.

July 8, 2019 – Epstein is charged with sex trafficking charges which detail how he created a network of underage girls in Florida and New York, paying girls as young as 14 to provide ‘massages and sex acts.’ The charges carry a sentence of up to 45 years in prison.

July 11, 2019 – More than a dozen women, not previously known to law enforcement, came forward to accuse him of sex abuse.

July 24 – Epstein was found unconscious in his cell after an apparent suicide attempt. He was moved to suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

August 9, 2019 – More than 2,000 documents are unsealed which reveal the lurid allegations against Epstein in detail.

August 10, 2019 – Epstein is found dead in his cell.

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