Following reports that the two meetings were to discuss philanthropy, Bill Gates said today in an interview that he had no "business relationship or friendship" with Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased financier and sex offender.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Gates admitted meeting Epstein, but he said he had no further interaction with him. The Microsoft founder said he was "never at a party or anything like that" and that all the meetings they held together were "meetings with men."
"I met him," Gates told the diary. "I didn't have a business relationship or friendship with him. I didn't go to New Mexico or Florida or Palm Beach or anything. There were people around him who said, hey, if you want to raise money for global health and want more philanthropy , he knows many rich people. "
Gates, according to media accounts, met Epstein from 2013, while Gates was still the president of Microsoft. The meetings began years after Epstein was first sentenced to prison for applying for a minor sex worker in 2008. Last week The New Yorker reported that Epstein has also received $ 2 million in donations for the MIT Media Lab.
The meeting reports immediately raised questions about why Gates would need the connections of Epstein in philanthropy, especially in the light of the financier's history. Epstein died of suicide last month in a cell in Manhattan, when he was confronted with child smuggling.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on the interview.