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Bill Gates says being friends with Jeffrey Epstein was ‘huge mistake’ as he opens up about divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates, left
Bill and Melinda Gates, left, are now divorced after 27 years of marriage (Pictures: CBS)

Bill Gates has admitted that it was a ‘huge mistake’ to form a friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein as he opens up about his divorce from ex-wife Melinda.

Gates, 65, has revealed that he shared ‘several dinners’ with Epstein, who died suicide in a New York jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN on Wednesday, Gates also revealed that his divorce from Melinda, 56, ‘was a source of great personal sadness’ for the Microsoft co-founder.

Gates’ relationship with Epstein dates back to 2011, which is after the financier had already spent time in jail for procuring a child for prostitution. Their friendship, however, became a point of contention between Gates and Melinda in September 2013.

She is said to have 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 had apparently hired divorce lawyers in 2019 after their pair’s relationship became public.

Gates reportedly 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

Melinda Gates and Bill Gates attend The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood)
Melinda Gates and Bill Gates pictured on May 14, 2018, in New York City (Picture: Getty)
FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein. Florida detectives have cleared Palm Beach County prosecutors and sheriff's officials of criminal wrongdoing in connection with their handling of wealthy and prominent sex offender Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago, reports released Monday, May 10, 2021 show. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)
Jeffrey Epstein died in jail in 2018 (Picture: AP)

In his interview with Cooper, the billionaire told the CNN host that he also ‘certainly’ had concerns about Epstein.

‘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’, Gates said.

He added: ‘When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing that relationship ended.

‘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 spokesperson for Gates told the 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.

Bill Gates & wife Melinda (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
The couple announced their divorce on Twitter on May 3 (Picture: KMazur/WireImage)

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

Cooper also asked Gates if his divorce will have a negative impact of the pair’s Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which they co-own.

Gates said: ‘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.

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

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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