Just days after Rolling Stone asked “What Was the Real Relationship Between Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Gates?,” the Microsoft co-founder said in a new interview that he regrets his association with the late financier and convicted sex offender.
“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “You know, there were lots of others in that same situation, but I made a mistake.”
Gates admitted that — despite having concerns — he had “several dinners” with Epstein with the hope of generating “billions in philanthropy for global health, through contacts that he had,” but “when that looked like that wasn’t the real thing, that relationship ended.”
— Tim O'Brien (@TimOBrien) August 5, 2021
Gates had previously stated at The New York Times DealBook conference in 2019, “I made a mistake in judgment in that I thought those discussions would lead literally to billions of dollars going to global health. Turned out that was a bad judgment, that was a mirage.” Gates also admitted, “I gave him some benefit by the association.”
As Rolling Stone reported in its recent dive into the relationship between Gates and Epstein, the pair first met in 2011, two years after Epstein had pleaded guilty to “procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18” and received a “sweetheart deal” from prosecutors. It’s been reported that Gates had flown on Epstein’s plane at least once, and visited Epstein’s home multiple times.
The relationship between Epstein and Gates came under additional scrutiny when Epstein — two days before his suicide — named physician and Gates associate Boris Nikolic as the substitute executor of his will, a move many believed Epstein orchestrated to cast a posthumous light on his relationship with Gates.
“It was absolutely a retaliatory move,” Nikolic told Rolling Stone. “Over the past few years, we have all learned that Epstein was a master deceiver. I now see that his philanthropic proposals were designed to ingratiate himself with my colleagues and me in an attempt to further his own social and financial ambitions. When he failed to achieve his goals, he started to retaliate.”